What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Nov. 1, 2021: Soccer semifinals get underway

Sunday, October 31, 2021 | 10:29 PM

The day after Halloween is one several district soccer teams hope is filled with golden treats instead of sour tastes.

The WPIAL soccer semifinals will take place Monday in boys 3A, boys 2A, girls 4A and girls A.

In Class 3A boys, the two teams meeting in the bottom of the bracket semifinals match have combined to win seven WPIAL boys soccer championships, including three back-to-back titles.

No. 2 Hampton faces off against No. 3 Franklin Regional. The Talbots have won five district championships, including two in a row twice, in 1994 and ’95 and again in 2010 and ’11. The Panthers have two WPIAL crowns and won them recently, in 2018 and 2019.

It’s the second meeting of the year between No. 1 West Allegheny and No. 4 Plum. The Indians rolled past the Mustangs, 7-1, back on opening weekend of the 2021 season in early September.

Final 4 in girls 4A

Could the third time be a charm for the Peters Township girls soccer team?

To say they have had zero success against Section 2-4A foe Moon this season is an understatement.

In the two matchups between the top two teams in the section, the Tigers shutout the Indians twice, 2-0 at Peters and 1-0 at Moon.

The two will meet in a semifinals contest Monday.

Last year, both the Tigers and Indians lost in the semifinals.

Peters Township lost to eventual champion North Allegheny, 3-0, while Moon lost to Butler, 2-1 in overtime.

Speaking of North Allegheny, the Tigers’ hopes of a repeat ended with a 1-0 quarterfinals loss to Fox Chapel.

The No. 9-seeded Foxes have yet to allow a goal in two postseason wins. Now they face a Seneca Valley team that has scored 10 goals in wins over Penn-Trafford and Norwin in the playoffs.

Pent up frustration

No. 9-seed North Catholic and No. 6 Ambridge have broken the brackets in the boys 2A playoffs and are part of a new look final four.

None of the remaining teams still left in 2A were part of the semifinals field a year ago.

In fact, Quaker Valley is taking out the frustrations of missing the 2020 playoffs altogether.

The Quakers were the defending champions last year and finished 11-1-1 as co-champs with North Catholic in Section 4-2A. However, the team had to pull out of the postseason due to covid-19 issues.

After winning the section this season, No. 2 QV has outscored Burrell and East Allegheny, 19-1, in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Speaking of Section 4, three of the remaining teams are from that section with Quaker Valley, Ambridge and North Catholic.

The Quakers have outscored the Bridgers in their first two meetings, 13-0.

They meet on Monday in one semifinals match while the other pits North Catholic against Charleroi.

The Cougars were champions of Section 3.

High-pedigree match

Since Class A was formed in PIAA soccer 11 years ago, Greensburg Central Catholic has captured district gold six times, including last year.

Shady Side Academy won the WPIAL Class A title four times, but the Bulldogs moved up last year and are now in 2A.

The only other district team to win Class A gold was when Freedom won its first soccer championship in 2018.

The Centurions vs. Bulldogs matchup is set for Monday in one of two Class A semifinals matches.

Springdale battles Steel Valley in the other final four contest.

All four teams were section champions this year with GCC and Springdale sharing the Section 1 crown.

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