The first round of WPIAL Girls soccer playoff action is in the books.
At Plum on Monday night, the Round of 16 kicked off with a strong performance by a young Yough team, as they beat Quaker Valley 2-0, to advance to the quarterfinals where they will meet a Freeport team on Thursday that had a first-round bye.
The second game saw Mt. Lebanon race out to a 3-0 lead, a valiant Plum comeback attempt fall short in the dying seconds.
First though, here’s my Yough-Quaker Valley game report filed for Tribune-Review as Sara Krofcheck and freshman Justine Appolonia scored for the Cougars.
I had a chance to catch up with winning coach, Dann Appolonia of Yough, as he was glad his team came out strong in the early going.
In the second game, the home team, 6th seeded Plum were blitzed by an impressive first half performance from 11th seed Mt. Lebanon.
First, on a counter in the 14th minute, Jess Wilhelm beat a Mustang defender to the ball, then got enough of the ball on a second effort to beat Plum goalkeeper Shannon Soboslay to give Mt. Lebanon at 1-0 lead.
As rest of the half played out, it was pretty even, but then in the 36th minute Mt. Lebanon’s Emma Cusick had similar intuition as Carli Lloyd in the World Cup Final by taking notice that Soboslay was slightly out of position, and sent a lobbing shot from 35 yards right under the center of the crossbar for a stunning goal.
Right after Molly Merrick made a nice save to deny a Plum effort into the goal box, Cusick delivered another goal with a nice left-footed finish in the box in the 46th minute.
It appeared that the Blue Devils would coast to victory.
Then the Mustangs attack woke up a minute later.
Plum’s Jordyn Huemme beat a pair of defenders to a ball near the top of the circle, and poked the ball past Merrick who came off the line.
A two-goal lead suddenly didn’t seem so secure for the Blue Devils.
Plum would continue to press forward — and setting up a corner kick in the 72nd minute.
This time Huemme delivered the assist on a picture perfect corner kick — and Taylor Oravitz‘s perfectly timed header cut the lead to 3-2 with less than eight minutes left.
The Blue Devils didn’t sit back however, building up some attacking chances, but Plum got some help from the crossbar as Cusick came inches from a hat trick, and sealing the win with less than three minutes left.
As the seconds counted away, Plum made one last effort with a high cross into far post side of the box that found Mallory Ratesic unmarked, but Mt. Lebanon defender Julia LaLama raced in to block the last shot attempt with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game, sealing the 3-2 win for the Blue Devils.
Here’s my post-game interview with Mt. Lebanon coach Cara Senger…
Here’s the full slate of scores from across all four classifications — and the upcoming quarterfinal matches this Thursday.
Mt. Lebanon 3 Plum 2
Canon McMillan 5 Hempfield 0
Norwin 9 Penn Hills 0
Pine-Richland 2 Kiski 1
Seneca Valley 3 Peters 2
Upper St. Clair 6 Butler 1
Fox Chapel 3 North Hills 1
Penn Trafford 6 Allderdice 0
4A QUARTERFINALS (Thursday – sites/times TBA)
- Norwin vs Upper St. Clair
- Mt. Lebanon vs Penn Trafford
- Canon-McMillan vs Seneca Valley
- Fox Chapel vs Kiski Area
Moon 6 Gateway 0
Thomas Jefferson 1 Belle Vernon 0
South Fayette 2 Oakland Catholic 0
Ambridge 2 Franklin Regional 1
Mars 3 Central Valley 2
Hampton 1 Mt. Pleasant 0
South Park 7 Greensburg Salem 0
Montour 2 Chartiers Valley 0
3A QUARTERFINALS (Thurs. Oct. 27 – Sites/Times TBA)
- Moon vs Thomas Jefferson
- South Fayette vs Montour
- Ambridge vs Mars
- South Park vs Hampton
Valley 2 Beaver 0
Yough 2 Quaker Valley 0
Charleroi 3 Burrell 2
Avonworth 1 Derry 0 (3-1 win in PKs)
2A QUARTERFINALS (Thurs. Oct. 27 – Sites/Times TBA)
- Freedom vs Avonworth
- Freeport vs Yough
- Highlands vs Valley
- Waynesburg vs Charleroi
Shady Side Academy 8 Bishop Canevin 0
Greensburg Central Catholic 5 Sewickley Academy 0
Riverside 2 Seton-LaSalle 0
Vincentian Academy 5 Riverview 0
South Side Beaver 3 Mohawk 2
OLSH 2 Chartiers Houston 0
Bentworth 1 Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 0
Carlynton 2 Serra Catholic 1
1A QUARTERFINALS (Thurs. Oct. 27 – Sites/Times TBA)
- Greensburg Central Catholic vs Riverside
- Vincentian vs OLSH
- South Side Beaver vs Bentworth
- Shady Side Academy vs Carlynton