What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Aug. 31, 2023: Boys soccer teams to battle for early section lead

Wednesday, August 30, 2023 | 11:46 PM

We close out August with plenty of boys soccer section matches.

It’s still early days, but there are three standout matches Thursday in WPIAL Class 3A boys soccer with at least a share of the section lead at stake.

In Section 2, defending district champion Moon, along with Montour, South Fayette and Chartiers Valley, all won their section openers Tuesday.

Moon, 2-1 overall, will host Chartiers Valley on Thursday. The Colts are 1-2 overall.

Montour hosts Central Valley and South Fayette is home to Blackhawk.

In Section 3, Ringgold, Trinity, Uniontown and Bethel Park were all winners in their section lid-lifters earlier this week.

Trinity will try to go to 2-0 overall and in section when they welcome Bethel Park. The Hawks have split their first two games overall.

Both Ringgold and Uniontown are home Thursday with the Rams facing Connellsville and the Red Raiders taking on Albert Gallatin.

Finally in Section 4, Franklin Regional, Latrobe, Gateway and Plum are trying to stay in first place with wins on Thursday.

Franklin Regional takes the short trip to visit Plum while Gateway visits Penn-Trafford and Latrobe is at Obama Academy.

Northern fights

Last fall, Section 1-4A dominated the boys soccer postseason.

In the quarterfinals, Section 1 teams swept past Section 2 teams, setting up an all Section 1 final four and championship match, won by Pine-Richland over Seneca Valley.

There are five Class 4A teams that have played multiple games this season and have yet to lose, and four of them are in Section 1.

Seneca Valley and North Allegheny are both 3-0 overall (1-0 in the section), Butler is 2-0-1 while Central Catholic is 2-0.

Upper St. Clair is the lone perfect team in Section 2 with a 3-0 overall mark.

On Thursday, Butler visits rival Seneca Valley, North Allegheny travels to defending district champion Pine-Richland while Central Catholic is on the road at Shaler.

Field hockey section openers

While most Class 2A and Class A field hockey teams will have to wait until after Labor Day to open up their section schedules, Class 3A begins Thursday.

Because of the limited number of teams overall, the district field hockey postseason is the smallest of any sport with four teams qualifying in each of the three classes.

The marquee match Thursday pits a pair of playoff teams from a year ago when North Allegheny hosts Mt. Lebanon.

The Tigers reached the finals last season before falling to Pine-Richland, the same Rams team that beat the Blue Devils in the semifinals.

Mt. Lebanon is 2-0 overall this season while North Allegheny is 1-1.

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