WPIAL girls soccer preview: Can anyone rocket past state champ Mars in Class 3A?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | 4:10 PM


Class 4A

The contenders: WPIAL runner-up Norwin might be one the fastest teams in the WPIAL and the Lady Knights have the talent to return to the finals, powered by Pitt recruits Lacey Bernick and Katelyn Kauffman. … Forward Megan Donnelly, a Villanova commit, leads Pine-Richland, another team built to run in the fastest heat. … Defending champion North Allegheny can’t be written off, especially with Sarah Schupansky (Pitt) out in front. … Fox Chapel took Norwin down to the wire in the quarterfinals, losing by one goal. Eastern Kentucky recruit Lucy Ream is back for the Foxes. … Peters Township is loaded with skill thanks to game changers like Cece Scott (Michigan State) and Emma Cantwell (Robert Morris).

Sleepers: Upper St. Clair is a perennial playoff team and could be ready to bust through led by UNC-Ashville commit Carson Bogan. … Mt. Lebanon will be in a lot of games due to its defensive play. … Watch Butler lurking in the shadows. The Golden Tornado was competitive in a tough Section 1 and will rely on Maci Lineman, an Akron recruit. … Veteran coach Mark Perry and Seneca Valley made the semifinals and lost 1-0 to Norwin.

Rankings

1. Norwin

2. Pine-Richland

3. Fox Chapel

4. Peters Township

5. North Allegheny

Players to watch

Megan Donnelly, Sr., F, Pine-Richland

Katelyn Kauffman, Sr., F, Norwin

Lucy Ream, Sr., MF, Fox Chapel

Sarah Schupansky, Sr., F, North Allegheny

Cecilia Scott, Jr., D, Peters Township

Class 3A

The contenders: Defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Mars is a good bet to repeat, maybe in both tournaments, after going 22-0-1. Senior Pitt recruit Ellie Coffield is the reigning PA Gatorade Player of the Year and can turn a game on its ear. … Runner-up Plum has the firepower to return to the finals, led by Kaitlyn Killinger, Gina Proviano and others. … Watch Belle Vernon, which loaded the net last season with 118 goals. Big scorers Jillian Butchki, Farrah Reader and Izzy Laurita, the last of whom did not play last year, are all back. … Senior 38-goal scorer Hannah Henn, a Michigan State commit, makes Oakland Catholic a tough out. The Eagles won the WPIAL two years ago. … A D1 trio powers West Allegheny in Mackenzie Taranto (Duquesne), Morgan Shansky (Akron) and Mackenzie Evers (Pitt). Can the Indians challenge Mars in new-look Section 4?

Sleepers: Franklin Regional is a returning playoff team and returns senior goalie Sydney Caldwell and junior midfielder Sydney Lindeman. … Thomas Jefferson could make some noise in Section 3.

Rankings

1. Mars

2. Plum

3. Belle Vernon

4. Oakland Catholic

5. West Allegheny

Players to watch

Jillian Butchki, Sr., MF, Belle Vernon

Ellie Coffield, Sr., MF, Mars

Grace Dunaway, Sr., D, Mars

Mackenzie Eversm Jr., F, West Allegheny

Hannah Henn, Sr., F, Oakland Catholic

Class 2A

The contenders: After reaching the quarterfinals last season, Brownsville is primed to move farther across the WPIAL bracket. Junior Tessa Dellarose scored 49 goals last season. … Defending champ North Catholic still features junior Jayden Sharpless, a Georgia State commit who has over 80 career goals. … Shady Side Academy, which won four WPIAL titles in Class A since 2010, moves to 2A and instantly becomes relevant. … Yough made the finals for the first time and has a few scoring threats to replace Justin Appolonia (Youngstown State), including McKenzie Pritts. …Deer Lakes sees rising talent in Madeline Boulos and Lily Litrun.

Sleepers: Mt. Pleasant, under new coach Rich Garland, features D1 players Mackenzie Leeder (Duquesne) and Brooke Ulery (Cleveland State). … Burrell was a WPIAL quarterfinalist.

Rankings

1. Brownsville

2. Shady Side Academy

3. North Catholic

4. Yough

5. Deer Lakes

Players to watch

Tessa Dellarose, Jr., MF, Brownsville

Jordyn Kowalkoski, Sr., MF, Burrell

McKenzie Pritts, So., MF, Yough

Melissa Riggins, Sr., MF, Shady Side Academy

Jayden Sharpless, Jr., MF, North Catholic

Class A

The contenders: High-powered Freedom reached the WPIAL semis and PIAA quarters but lost both games to Greensburg Central Catholic. The Bulldogs return sisters Renae and Jules Mohrbacher. The former led the WPIAL wth 70 goals. … Runner-up GCC, which is glad to see longtime rival and nemesis Shady Side Academy move up, still has plenty of weapons, including Sam Felder (IUP), Tatum Gretz (Villanova) and Jess Nemeth (IUP). The Centurions made the PIAA semis. … A balanced look comes with Bentworth, which features net-minder Jasmine Manning and net-finders in Reagan and Mallory Schreiber. … After reaching the quarterfinals, Bishop Canevin has experience and should be the favorite in Section 3. … Senior Jaime Dermotta helps make Serra Catholic a quiet contender.

Sleepers: Seton LaSalle won a section title last season and made the quarterfinals.

Rankings

1. Freedom

2. Greensburg C.C.

3. Bentworth

4. Bishop Canevin

5. Serra Catholic

Players to watch

Jaime Dermotta, Sr., MF, Serra Catholic

Tatum Gretz, Jr., F, Greensburg CC

Sam Felder, Sr., F, Greensburg CC

Jules Mohrbacher, So., MF, Freedom

Renae Mohrbacher, Jr., F, Freedom

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

More High School Soccer Girls

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WPIAL boys and girls soccer rankings for Sept. 21, 2020

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