WPIAL Boys Soccer Semifinals Tuesday Recaps

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM


The WPIAL held six games on Tuesday night to set up the Super Soccer Saturday finals for the boys. The many surprises that have occurred in the girls tournaments didn't cross over to this gender as most of the top boys seeds are headed to the finals. Here are recaps from both Semifinals in all three classifications.

Thanks to Brandon Rebel, Greg Kuntz, Bob Orkwis and Adam Hoerner for their help on these recaps.

WPIAL CLASS AAA SEMIFINALS:

Peters Township Indians 2 – Norwin Knights 0

The Peters Township boys defeated Norwin 2-0 with a sound fundamental performance and smothering defense. Both Peters goals came in the first half with Zachary Partyka (from Joseph Barbati) scoring 12 minutes into the contest followed by Jesse Scheirer's score on a penalty kick in the 28th minute. Scheirer's blast would be the last score of the evening as the Peters defense activated and clamped down, stifling the Norwin attack for the rest of the match. The victory by perennial soccer powerhouse Peters Township advances them to their 6th WPIAL championship game in the last 8 years. The Indians hope to break even and win their 3rd championship in that same span. Peters Township will play Pittsburgh Central Catholic in the Finals.

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 1 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 0

The Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils came in as the top seed in the Class AAA bracket being the only team with a 1st Round bye.  They subsequently knocked off Franklin Regional to reach the Semifinals.  The Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings reached the semis with wins over North Allegheny (1-0, OT) and Upper St. Clair, 3-1.  Both teams engaged in a collective feeling-out process throughout the 1st half of their semifinal matchup with Central getting a better share of scoring chances.  However, both team's defenses and goalkeepers stood strong as there was no scoring after 40 minutes of play.  Things started to open up some in the second half with Mt. Lebanon getting a couple of great scoring opportunities. IN the 59th minute, the Blue Devils' Zach Batteer put shot toward the Vikings' goal that hit off the crossbar, and about 4 minutes later, Jamie Hankins had an attempt that very nearly got past PCC keeper Franklin Gregg, but the shot sailed just wide of the goal.  The lone goal of the game came in the 78th minute as Central Catholic moved quickly from their own goal kick.  The Vikings' Brandon Peck moved quickly down the left side of the field as the ball was kicked high in the air.  Peck was able to gain control and dribbled past the Blue Devils' defense.  He then crossed the ball in front of the net where Teddy Larkin, who was trailing the play, drove the ball past Lebo netminder Max Basheda for the 1-0 lead and the victory.  The Blue Devils become the latest top seed to fall in the 2010 WPIAL playoffs along with all 3 Girls' top seeds.  Central Catholic moves on to Super Soccer Saturday when they will take on the Peters Township Indians for the Class AAA Title.

WPIAL CLASS AA SEMIFINALS:

Hampton Talbots 6 – Belle Vernon Leopards 1

The Talbots used a hat trick from sophomore Justin Carter and five second half goals to oust Belle Vernon from the WPIAL Boys Class AA tournament at North Allegheny's Newman Field. Carter scored the only goal of the first half when his shot overpowered Leopard's goalkeeper Garrett McLaughlin and went off his hands and into the net to give Hampton a 1-0 lead. Hampton dominated the first half with an aggressive attack, but Belle Vernon answered two minutes into the second half when Tyler Pirilla took a nice feed from Jordan Redfield and beat Hampton's Ben Wilt to tie the game at 1-1. Hampton then scored five unanswered goals to turn this contest into a rout. Carter teamed with Evan Wilson in the 52nd minute for the game winner, as the patient Wilson waited forever for McLaughlin to make his move before finding the net for the eventual game winner. Carter scored of a Jon Mercier rebound in the 55th minute and then picked up his own rebound off of the post in the 66th minute to complete the hat trick and give Hampton a 4-1 lead. Quay Sobotka and Mercier would add goals 3 minutes apart as the top seeded Talbots improved their season record to (20-1). Belle Vernon fell to (18-2-1) and the Leopards will face South Park on Saturday in the Class AA consolation match. With the victory, the Talbots earned a championship game rematch with the Mars Planets. Mars, seeded 14th in this year's tournament and the defending WPIAL AA champions, defeated South Park 1-0 to advance to the finals. The Planets shut out the Talbots 1-0 in last year's title tilt, although the Talbots did defeat Mars twice this season in Section 2 play.

Mars Fighting Planets 1 – South Park Eagles 0

The 2010 WPIAL soccer playoffs have seen their fair share of upsets, and technically speaking a #14 seed ousting a #2 seed qualifies. Still, since Mars (14-5-2, 9-3-2) is a two-time defending Class AA champion, it's hard to think of its 1-0 triumph over South Park (18-3-0, 11-1-0) Tuesday night at Chartiers Valley High School as a shocking result. The Planets didn't make it easy on themselves, though. The Eagles controlled the play for much of the first half through crisp, controlled team passing while their opponent kept trying to find the perfect play. In the 42nd minute, though, Mars did just that as senior Josh Brake headed in a crossing pass from fellow senior Luke Sowers. South Park would turn the pressure back up from there, and the Planets were forced to play a man down after a red card to senior Yulian Lutsiv in the 56th minute when he plowed into senior keeper Dan McDermott, but junior Garrett Gabriel was equal to the task of preserving the shutout at the other end behind some solid defensive play. Mars will try for its third straight gold medal against Hampton in the championship on Saturday from Elizabeth Forward High School.

WPIAL CLASS A SEMIFINALS:

Seton-LaSalle Rebels 4 – Beaver County Christian Eagles 0

The top seeded Rebels scored a pair of goals in each half to advance to their sixth WPIAL Championship game in the last 10 years. Matt Onorato (16th minute) and Ben Aiello (35th minute) beat Eagles goalkeeper Zach Schofield in the first half to build a 2-0 halftime lead for Seton-LaSalle. The Rebels then put the game away in the first 9 minutes of the second half. Their leading goal scorer, Roma Vukmanovich headed home a corner kick from Steve Pozycki in the 42nd minute to make it 3-0. Tyler Balzer iced the game away seven minutes later with a beautiful back heel goal for the 4-0 final. Cory Smigelski earned the shutout in goal for Seton-LaSalle. The Rebels are now (15-1-2) on the season and will face Greensburg Central Catholic, the tournament's # 2 seed, in the Class A finals on Super Soccer Saturday. Beaver County Christian's season is not over. The fourth seeded Eagles (14-6-1) will face Springdale on Saturday in the Class A consolation match,
with the winner advancing to the PIAA playoffs as the third seed from District 7.

Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 2 – Springdale Dynamos 1 in Overtime

Without a doubt the game of the night here as GCC scored in the 25th minute (Daniel Szekely) and carried a 1-0 lead for the rest of the game…that is until a Bryan Weimerskirch goal on a free kick with 2 seconds left to play in regulation extended the Springdale season, made it 1-1, and threw the game into overtime. The jubilation on the Springdale sideline would not last long, though, as 8 minutes into overtime Daniel Szekely was at it again, this time shoveling the ball underneath of a diving Ryan Sabol to score the game winner. GCC carried the majority of play during the game, but had to rely on heroics from Szekely to avoid the upset bug that has been biting teams here recently in the WPIAL soccer playoffs, including the Greensburg Central Catholic girls squad who lost an OT heartbreaker just last night. The boys, however, are set to defend their WPIAL crown this Saturday. Greensburg Central Catholic will meet Seton-LaSalle in the Finals.

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