What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Aug. 29, 2022: Girls soccer section play begins

Sunday, August 28, 2022 | 7:34 PM

Three days into another girls high school soccer season, the district rolls out the red carpet on the start of section play around the WPIAL on Monday.

For two-thirds of the 98 District 7 soccer teams, their section opener also will be their season opener.

The biggest change after realignment in WPIAL girls soccer is the shrinking of Class 4A from 19 teams to 16 teams and the elimination of a section, going from three to two.

These section games starting Monday will determine who qualifies for the district playoffs in October.

The top four teams in each section earn a postseason berth. If there is a tie for a playoff spot and the head-to-head tiebreaker does not break the tie, all of those tied teams will qualify.

In the regular season, teams earn three points for a section win and one point for a section tie.

Champs begin defense

All four of last year’s WPIAL girls soccer champions begin section play Monday, two at home and two on the road.

The WPIAL Class 2A champions over the last three years meet in an early-season Section 1 showdown as Avonworth visits North Catholic.

It is a rematch of last season’s Class 2A championship match, won by the Antelopes in overtime 2-1. The Trojans won WPIAL titles in 2019 and 2020.

There will be a new champion in Class 4A after last year’s winner, Moon, dropped to 3A. The Tigers open their Section 4 schedule at Trinity.

Three-time defending WPIAL Class 3A champion Mars will host Hampton, and last year’s Class A winner, Steel Valley, will be home to Serra Catholic.

Court clash of champions

Section play will begin for a handful of teams this week, but most WPIAL girls volleyball squads will have to wait until after Labor Day to begin their section schedule.

However two district heavyweights will collide Monday in a nonsection battle of champions.

Class 3A defending champion Freeport will visit last year’s Class 4A title winner, North Allegheny, in a great early-season litmus test for two of the top programs in the district.

The Yellowjackets have won district gold in two of the last three years and six times since 2010.

The Tigers have won back-to-back 4A crowns and four WPIAL championships in the last five years.

After winning it all in 3A last season, Freeport is back in Class 2A this season.

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