What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Oct. 31, 2023: Spots in finals up for grabs in unpredictable 4A boys soccer bracket

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Monday, October 30, 2023 | 11:01 PM


Twenty-four district boys and girls soccer and girls volleyball teams will find out Tuesday if this particular Halloween will serves the trick of ending their WPIAL championship hopes or if they will be treated to a spot in the district finals later this week.

Welcome to Semifinals Tuesday in the fall sports postseason.

Already, there seems to have been a trick played to the top half of the Class 4A boys soccer brackets.

Both No. 1 Seneca Valley and No. 4 Upper St. Clair were upset in the district quarterfinals, setting up a No. 5 vs. No. 8 final four contest Tuesday.

Norwin (12-5-1), fresh off its upset of top-seeded Seneca Valley, will now battle No. 5 Fox Chapel (11-4-2) at Hampton at 6 p.m.

The Foxes have allowed only three goals in their last nine matches, including the 2-1 win over USC.

The Knights were 3-3-1 in their last seven regular season matches before stunning Seneca Valley in penalty kicks.

The other 4A semifinal follows at Hampton at 8 p.m. when No. 2 North Allegheny takes on No. 3 Butler for the third time this season.

The Tigers beat their Section 1-4A rivals, 4-1, in their first meeting before the teams played to a 2-2 draw in their second match.

Lions and Tigers and Bulldogs, oh my

It’s a girls night out on the pitch as six district semifinals take place in Class 3A, 2A and A.

On a night known for costumes, the most popular mascot in the final four is the Bulldogs.

Both Shady Side Academy and Freedom share the same mascot and both will be trying to reach the WPIAL finals in their respective classification.

In 2A, No. 7 Shady Side Academy (14-3-1) will take on No. 6 Burrell (14-4) in a battle of section runners-up.

The Bulldogs finished second in Section 4 while the Bucs were the No. 2 team out of Section 2.

They will play the second game of the 2A doubleheader at Gateway at 8 p.m.

In the first match, top seed and defending champion Avonworth (16-1-2) will be challenged by South Park (15-5) in a showdown between section champions.

The Antelopes won Section 1 while the Eagles captured the Section 4 crown.

The other Bulldogs are from Freedom (16-3), the No. 2 seed in Class A. They will take on No. 6 Springdale (13-3) in the second match of a Class A twinbill at North Allegheny.

The Bulldogs are the defending champions and have won two of their last five district crowns. The Dynamos last won it all 14 years ago in 2009.

At the top of the Class A bracket, top-seeded Riverview (17-2) will take on the Cinderella of the girls soccer postseason, No. 12 South Allegheny (13-7) at 6 p.m.

While the Raiders were blanking Aquinas Academy and Chartiers-Houston in the first two rounds by a combined score of 7-0, the Gladiators were dropping stunners on No. 5 Greensburg Central Catholic, 2-1 in overtime in Round 1, and No. 4 Winchester Thurston in the quarterfinals, 1-0 in a penalty kick shootout.

The Class 3A semifinals will be played at Dormont Stadium.

Top-seeded Mars (16-0) has allowed only one goal this season and has 14 straight shutouts as it battles No. 5 South Fayette (12-4-2), a team that has blanked the opposition in four of its last five games, including both postseason matches.

The Fightin’ Planets have scored seven playoff goals while the Lions have hit the back of the net eight times.

That match is at 6 p.m. and will be followed at 8 p.m. by No. 7 Montour (14-2-3) facing No. 3 seed and Section 4-3A rival Moon (14-1-2).

In their two regular season meetings this fall, they played to a scoreless tie in September and the Tigers edged the Spartans, 1-0 in double overtime in their second classic.

Volleyball final four for four

The WPIAL girls volleyball semifinals will be split with 4A and 3A being played Wednesday while 2A and A take the hardcourt center stage on Tuesday.

In Class 2A, top seed and two-time defending champion Freeport will go up against No. 5 Avonworth at North Allegheny at 6 p.m.

In the second match at 7:30 p.m., it’s a battle of section champions as No. 2 Beaver faces No. 3 Quaker Valley.

The Bobcats won Section 1 by three games while the Quakers won Section 4 by two games over the runner-up Antelopes.

In the Class A doubleheader at Peters Township, top-seed Serra Catholic will take on No. 4 Greensburg Central Catholic at 7:30 p.m.

In the first match at 6 p.m., defending champion Frazier will face a Bishop Canevin team that won district gold five straight years from 2017-2021.

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