WPIAL Class 2A girls soccer championship breakdown: Avonworth vs. Mt. Pleasant

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Friday, November 4, 2022 | 3:33 PM


WPIAL girls soccer preview

Class 2A championship

5-Avonworth (18-3) vs. 2-Mt. Pleasant (19-1)

11 a.m. Saturday, Highmark Stadium

Video livestream: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Tickets: $10 (general admission); Parking $10 (cash only)

Coaches: JC Mahan, Avonworth; Rich Garland, Mt. Pleasant

Players to watch: Fiona Mahan, MF, Avonworth; Morgan Gesinski, F, Mt. Pleasant

WPIAL titles: Avonworth 1 (2021); Mt. Pleasant 0

Playoff path: Avonworth defeated Keystone Oaks, 10-0; Hopewell, 6-1; and North Catholic, 2-1. Mt. Pleasant defeated West Mifflin, 12-0; Freeport, 4-0; and South Park, 1-0 (OT).

Corner kicks: Defending champion Avonworth trailed by one at halftime before scoring two second-half goals to knock off No. 1 seed North Catholic, 2-1, in the semifinals. Fiona Mahan and Caroline Sweeney put the ball in the net as the Antelopes advanced to their third straight WPIAL final. Avonworth’s only title came last season, when it edged North Catholic, 2-1, at Highmark Stadium. The Antelopes defeated Southmoreland in the semifinals, 4-1. They went on to play for the PIAA title in Hershey but fell to Allentown Central Catholic. Avonworth also made the WPIAL final in 2020 but lost to North Catholic, 1-0, after defeating Southmoreland and Yough in the postseason. Avonworth, which has 12 clean sheets, lost twice to North Catholic in section play. Its other loss is to 4A Bethel Park. Mahan leads the team with 21 goals and 19 assists. The All-WPIAL player is ranked No. 1 in the state for the Class of 2025 by TopDrawer Soccer. Junior forward Gianna Babusci has 20 goals and 10 assists, and junior midfielder Minah Syam, another Division I prospect, has 16 goals and 11 assists. … Mt. Pleasant advanced with a 1-0 overtime victory over No. 3 South Park in the other semifinal. Junior midfielder Riley Gesinski scored the golden goal. The Vikings will play in the WPIAL final for the first time. They have outscored three playoff opponents 17-0. They have outscored 2A opponents 100-4 this season. Freshman goalkeeper Laurel Rummel and a solid back line have produced 15 shutouts, including five in a row. Freshman Morgan Gesinski leads the team with 31 goals and 15 assists, and sophomore Rylin Bugosh has 29 goals and 14 assists. Riley Gesinski has 17 goals and senior Marissa Garn 10. Mt. Pleasant has five All-WPIAL players in Bugosh, Garn, both Gesinskis and Piper. Mt. Pleasant’s loss is to 3A finalist and last year’s WPIAL and PIAA 4A champion Moon, 6-0.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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