What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Nov. 7, 2023: Surprise soccer champs open state playoffs

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Monday, November 6, 2023 | 11:47 PM


8-8-7 is not a new area code in Western Pa., rather it was the seeding for three of the four boys soccer champions in the recently completed District 7 postseason.

Outside of their respective locker rooms, not many folks felt, when the WPIAL boys soccer playoff brackets came out, that No. 8 Norwin in 4A, No. 8 South Fayette in 3A and No. 7 Bentworth in A would be wearing the crown when the leaves turned brown.

That indeed was the case. Now as the PIAA postseason begins, can the Knights, Lions and Bearcats continue their postseason magic?

All three will host first-round soccer matches Tuesday.

Norwin (15-5-1) is home to the fourth-place team out of District 3, Warrick (18-1-1), South Fayette (13-4-3) is home to the third-place team out of District 3, Kennard-Dale (16-2-1), and Bentworth (18-2) will face District 10 runner-up Seneca (13-7) at Peters Township.

Here are the other opening-round boys soccer matches involving WPIAL teams Tuesday:

Class 4A

North Allegheny (16-2-3) is at District 6 champion State College (14-1-4)

Class 3A

Montour (16-5) battles District 10 champion Cathedral Prep (15-3-1) at Hagerty Family Events Center in Erie

Hampton (17-3-1) travels to District 9 champion Bradford (11-9)

Class 2A

• WPIAL champion South Park (22-0) hosts District 10 runner-up General McLane (14-5-2)

• District 7 runner-up Quaker Valley (17-4) is at District 5 champion Bedford (18-2)

Shady Side Academy (15-5-1) visits District 10 champion Fairview (14-3-3)

Class A

• WPIAL runner-up Charleroi (19-1) visits District 6 champion Richland (13-4-1)

Burrell (15-4) heads northeast to face District 9 champion Redbank Valley (16-3) at Brockway

Hoping to avoid a lunar eclipse ,

When the moon is full, it could be mistaken for a soccer ball in the sky, which might or might not be made of cheese.

When that happens over the West Hills of Pittsburgh in the month of November, that moon is probably made of gold.

The Moon (15-2-2) girls soccer team hopes to take the first step toward history Tuesday when the WPIAL Class 3A runners-up hit the road to battle District 9 champion Bradford (18-2) at 5 p.m.

The Tigers became the fifth District 7 program to win back-to-back PIAA championships last fall when they successfully defended their state crown from 2021.

Peters Township was the first to do it in 2010-2011, then Greensburg Central Catholic in 2012-2013, Moon first did it in 2016-2017, and Mars won in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The Tigers hope to become the second WPIAL girls soccer team to win three straight PIAA championships, following in the recent footsteps of the Fightin’ Planets.

Also in Class 3A girls soccer Tuesday, WPIAL champion South Fayette (14-4-2) hosts Montour (14-3-1) for the third meeting of the season between these Section 4 foes.

The Spartans won the first clash in August, 1-0, while the Lions won the rematch in late September, 3-0.

The only loss this season for Mars (17-1) came in the district semifinals to South Fayette, 1-0 on penalty kicks. The Fightin’ Planets are on the road in the first round at District 10 champion Warren (9-9).

Here are the other eight state opening round girls soccer matches Tuesday involving WPIAL teams:

• In Class 4A, WPIAL champion Fox Chapel (13-4-2) is home to the fourth-place team out of District 3, Landisville Hempfield (13-2-2), while District 7 runner-up North Allegheny (20-1) will battle District 6 champion Altoona (15-5) at Mansion Park in Altoona.

• In Class 2A, District 10 runner-up General McLane (14-7) visits WPIAL champion Avonworth (19-1-2), District 7 runner-up Shady Side Academy (15-5-1) will face District 6 champion Martinsburg Central (14-7) at Hollidaysburg, and South Park (16-6) heads north to visit District 10 champion Fort LeBoeuf (16-3).

• In Class A, District 10 runner-up Mercer (15-4) visits WPIAL champion Freedom (19-3), D-7 runner up Riverview (18-4) visits District 5 winner Conemaugh Township (19-1), and Springdale (14-4) heads north to visit D-10 champion Seneca (17-0).

District powers hit the state hardcourt

Two WPIAL Class 3A section champions collide on opening night of the 2023 PIAA girls volleyball playoffs.

Hampton won the Section 1-3A title with a perfect regular season record. Oakland Catholic had only two losses all season in winning the Section 2-3A crown, with both defeats at the hands of Class 4A programs.

Now the two meet in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs with the Talbots coming off a WPIAL championship and the Eagles falling to North Catholic in the district semifinals.

It is one of three 3A matches involving WPIAL teams on Tuesday. District 7 runner-up North Catholic (18-1) visits District 10 champion Warren (15-2) while Thomas Jefferson (17-2) is at District 9 winner DuBois (15-2).

Here are the first round matches in 4A, 2A and A involving WPIAL teams:

Class 4A

• WPIAL champion North Allegheny (16-1) is at McDowell (11-7)

• District 7 runner-up Canon-McMillan (15-4) visits District 6 champ State College (7-8).

Class 2A

• WPIAL champion Beaver (20-0) host District 10 runner-up Corry (15-2).

• District 7 runner-up Freeport (20-2) visits District 10 champion North East (17-2)

Quaker Valley (16-3) is at District 9 champion Kane (12-6)

Avonworth (14-7) travels to District 6 winner Philipsburg-Osceola (22-0)

Class A

• WPIAL champ Serra Catholic (20-0) hosts District 10 runner-up Cochranton (16-3)

• District 7 runner-up Bishop Canevin (19-2) heads east to battle District 5 winner Berlin-Brothersvalley (23-2) at Windber

Frazier (19-2) visits District 10 champion Maplewood (16-3)

Only the champs take part

No WPIAL field hockey team has ever advanced to the PIAA championship match.

Three district teams will try to change that and make history with a lengthy state playoff run starting Tuesday with first-round matches.

Class 3A champion Pine-Richland (19-0) will host the third-place team out of District 3, Penn Manor (15-5-1), at 6 p.m.

In Class 2A, District 7 winner Penn-Trafford (18-2) will welcome the fourth-place team from District 3, Manheim Central (14-6-2), at 6 p.m.

Finally in Class A, Shady Side Academy (10-5) will be home to the fourth-place team from District 3, Boiling Springs (18-4), at 5 p.m.

More High School Soccer Boys

Notable changes to the 2024-25 WPIAL boys soccer alignment
Penn Hills’ new boys soccer coach Kevin Truman seeks to make impact beyond the pitch
Pine-Richland soccer coach Wiegand doubles up with girls gig
Division I players from A-K Valley come together for high-level summer soccer
Fox Chapel junior signs with Riverhounds