What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Sept. 14, 2021: Field hockey blue bloods square off

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021 | 8:07 PM


One of the more amazing streaks in the WPIAL is the on-going rivalry between Shady Side Academy and the Ellis School in field hockey.

The programs have faced each other in the last seven WPIAL Class A or AA championship matches.

SSA has won the last three titles while Ellis claimed gold the previous four years.

Either the Bulldogs or Tigers have won a WPIAL field hockey championship in the last 16 years with Shady Side Academy winning 10 crowns and the Ellis School six.

On Wednesday, the two dominant forces face each other for the first time this season when the Ellis School hosts Shady Side Academy.

Fight for first on the pitch

Seneca Valley and Fox Chapel finished first and second in the Section 1-4A boys soccer standings in 2020.

In fact, they nearly faced each other for a third time in the WPIAL finals.

The Raiders and Foxes each made it to the district semifinals, where Seneca Valley beat Norwin to advance to the title match while Fox Chapel fell in double overtime to Peters Township.

The two are off and running again in 2021. Both teams are 5-0 overall, with Fox Chapel 3-0 in the section while Seneca Valley checks in at 2-0 in section play.

The Foxes host the Raiders in a Wednesday afternoon special at 3:15 p.m. with first place and early bragging rights in the section at stake.

Another soccer showdown

Another early season boys soccer battle for first place takes place in Murrysville on Wednesday evening.

Franklin Regional and Gateway are both 3-0 atop Section 4-3A. The Panthers have won three of four this season while the Gators are 3-2 overall.

Last season, the Panthers tied Plum for the section crown while the Gators finished in fourth place and earned a playoff spot.

Gateway lost to West Allegheny in the Class 3A first round while Franklin Regional beat West A in the semifinals before losing to champion Mars in the WPIAL title match.

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