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PREVIEWING SATURDAY'S CLASS AA and A WPIAL SOCCER FINALS

PREVIEWING SATURDAY'S CLASS AA and A WPIAL SOCCER FINALS

Will this be high scoring Charleroi's year to win a WPIAL title in soccer?

Will this be high scoring Charleroi’s year to win a WPIAL title? 


After the WPIAL Class AAA boys and girls soccer finals played out on Friday night at Highmark Stadium seeing Canon McMillan and Norwin taking home the titles, there will be four more games to be played on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.  I will be on hand most of the day Saturday, covering the AA games for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
I will provide updates on Twitter @johnkrysinsky.
Here are the previews, in order of Saturday’s game times, of the remaining games remaining in both Class AA and A:
CLASS A GIRLS

No. 1 Greensburg Central Catholic vs. No. 2 Charleroi

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Records: Greensburg Central Catholic (20-1), Charleroi (17-1-2)

How they got here:

Greensburg Central Catholic — def. No. 16 Quigley, 7-0, in first round; def. No. 8 Sewickley Academy, 4-1, in quarterfinals; def. No. 4 Freedom, 7-2, in semifinals.

Charleroi — def. No. 15 CWNC, 2-1, in first round; def. No. 7 New Brighton, 5-2, in quarterfinals; def. No. 3 Shady Side Academy, 1-0, in overtime, in semifinals.

Notable:

GCC is in the finals for the seventh time, including the past five. The Centurions have won three of the past four titles. Notre Dame recruit Bailey Cartwright, a junior, has scored 77 goals. She was joined on the All-WPIAL team by senior Sarah Ward (St. Francis) and junior Keli Rosensteel (RMU). Charleroi senior Kyra Watkins tallied 43 goals and has 100 in her career. Senior defender Riley Morgan joins Watkins as an All-WPIAL selection, and Kaitlyn Riley had more than 20 goals for the Cougars, who are in the title game for the first time since 1999.

CLASS A BOYS

No. 4 Avonworth vs. No. 3 Seton-La Salle

When: Noon Saturday

Records: Avonworth (15-3-3), Seton-La Salle (16-5)

How they got here:

Avonworth — def. No. 13 Charleroi, 8-0, in first round; def. No. 12 Bishop Canevin, 2-0, in quarterfinals; def. No. 1 Sewickley Academy, 2-1, in a shootout, in semifinals.

Seton-La Salle — def. No. 14 Aquinas Academy, 2-1, in first round; def. No. 11 OLSH, 3-2, in overtime, in quarterfinals; def. No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic, 2-1, in semifinals.

Notable:

Seton-La Salle is in the finals for the eighth time and has five championships, including 2010 and ‘11. Avonworth is making its first title-game appearance. The Section 3 rivals split their meetings, both 2-1, but Seton won the section title with a 10-2 record. Chris Stack has 16 goals for the Rebels. Cole Pappas, also Avonworth football’s kicker, scored the deciding goal in a shootout win in the semifinals. Pappas, Griffin Geppert and Johnnie Oddo have more than 15 goals each for the Lopes.

CLASS AA GIRLS

No. 1 Mars vs. No. 2 South Park

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Records: Mars (16-2), South Park (18-2-1)

How they got here:

Mars — had bye in first round; def. No. 8 Waynesburg, 4-0, in quarterfinals; def. No. 4 Central Valley, 2-0, in semifinals.

South Park — def. No. 15 Greensburg Salem, 5-0, in first round; def. No. 10 Highlands, 2-1, in quarterfinals; def. No. 3 South Fayette, 2-0, in semifinals.

Notable:

Four-time WPIAL champion Mars was the district runner-up to Montour last year. The Section 2 champs had 12 shutouts and outscored opponents 84-13, with their losses to Class AAA Norwin and Pine-Richland. Junior forward Tori Kopchak scored 34 goals and was joined on the All-WPIAL team by teammates Erin Posey and Emily Scaletta.

Four-time champion South Park had five All-WPIAL picks — Jordyn Minda (27 goals), Katie Shultz, Carly Pcholinsky, Mikaela Tranter, Molly Saylor. The Section 5 co-champs won nine straight before a 2-1 loss to Upper St. Clair in the regular-season finale.

CLASS AA BOYS

No. 4 South Fayette vs. No. 2 Mars

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Records: South Fayette (17-3), Mars (18-2-1)

How they got here: South Fayette def. No. 13 Shady Side Academy, 3-0, in first round; def. No. 12 McGuffey, 3-0, in quarterfinals; def. No. 1 South Park, 2-1 in overtime, in semifinals. Mars def. No. 15 Quaker Valley, 2-1, in a shootout, in first round; def. No. 10 Montour, 4-3, in overtime, in quarterfinals; def. No. 3 Thomas Jefferson, 1-0, in semifinals.

Notable: Mars, which breezed to the Section 2 title at 12-0, is in the title game for the fifth time, winning twice. The Planets are led by senior Andrew Diefenbacher, who has 17 goals, as well as Matt McMahon and Nick Cimini, who scored in the semifinals. Zack Ali was the overtime hero for South Fayette in the semifinals. Nick Aul also scored for the Lions, who won Section 5 with an 11-1 record. South Fayette has made two title-game trips, losing in 2002 and ‘13. The Lions have 10 shutouts.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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