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FINAL: Franklin Regional 1, West Allegheny 0

WPIAL Boys 3A Final

West Allegheny Indians (19-1-0) vs Franklin Regional Panthers (17-0-1)

Thursday, November 1, 2018 – 8 pm kickoff

Highmark Stadium


John Krysinsky – reporting






First WPIAL title in school history.

10:30 – West Allegheny with a lot of chances from the fringe, but nothing solid in the box for much of 2nd half.

9:52 – second half starts with West A getting a few corner chances, but nothing to show for it.  Franklin counters and sets up corner of its own after Wurst save.

9:40 – HALFTIME – 1-0 Franklin Regional leads on DiFalco’s goal

9:30 – GOAL – Franklin Regional strikes first!

Anthony DiFalco with a beauty

9:20 – after 20 minutes, West A with more possession. Franklin playing more direct and bringing counters.

WA’s starting XI

Wurst (G), Dragisich, Miller, Farelli, Chappel, Amos, Haines, Fiordillo, Ervin, Blunkosky, Shaytar

Franklin Regional starting XI

Lucas (G), Hudson, LeDonne, Zach Snider, Auston Kranick, Cole Kaforey, Anthony DiFalco, Jacob Shulock, Matt Kimmick, Ryan Beard, Nolan Scholz



Can West Allegheny keep possession, and limit Franklin Regional’s chances?

Games like this, especially in the early going, may provide a bit of a feeling out process.

That didn’t happen on Monday when West Allegheny met another unbeaten team — Mars. The Fighting Planets came out swinging — took the early lead — and the game really opened up. It was a back-and-forth battle. The Indians scored three goals in regulation against a Mars team that only gave up three goals in the regular season.

For the sake of entertainment, it would be great to see the same type of game.

One interesting common opponent the two teams shared this season was South Fayette. We covered West Allegheny’s 1-0 win over the Lions for our PSN Featured Game of the Week in early September, while Franklin Regional has its only blemish of the season vs South Fayette (0-0 draw). However, the Panthers did also beat South Fayette earlier in the season, 3-0.


  • The Indians came close a year ago, but were knocked off by section rival Montour in the WPIAL Final. The Indians are in the WPIAL final for the fourth time in the past six years, previously winning its first title in 2013.
  • On Monday, the Indians were pushed to the limit by previously unbeaten Mars. The teams battled to a 3-3 draw after 110, ultimately decided on penalty kicks when WA’s goalkeeper Braden Wurst was not only the hero by saving two shots in the shootout, but also put in the game-winner.
  • West Allegheny is led by a Nate Dragisich, a Duquesne University recruit, who became the All-Time Goal and Assists leader in West Allegheny Soccer history last week. Heading into last week’s quarterfinals, Dragisich was up to career totals of 78 goals and 47 assists. Nathan is a member of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2001 team and was selected as an ECNL All-American during the summer.
  • The Indians have depth though, with experience and leadership coming from Wurst, a senior goalkeeper, and Evan Blunkosky who scored the lone goal in PSN’s Featured Game of the Week when West Allegheny beat South Fayette, 1-0.


  • This is uncharted territory for the Panthers., who are making their first-ever appearance in the WPIAL soccer final after dropping down from Class 4A to 3A this season, they’ve put together an impressive campaign, rolling though 20 games without a loss.
  • After a 2-1 win over Hampton in the quarterfinal, FR rolled to a 5-1 win over section foes Thomas Jefferson in the semifinal.
  • In the win vs TJ, senior midfielder Zack Snider had a hat trick, while senior Justin LeDonne and freshman Anthony DiFalco had one score apiece to power the top-seeded Panthers past No. 12 Thomas Jefferson
  • The Panthers success starts in the back — as coach Rand Hudson‘s team has not allowed more than one goal in a game all season: five total. They have 13 shutouts.
  • The Panthers rely on a balanced attack. DiFalco and his fellow Beadling teammate, Jake Sciorili, a sophomore defender, have been instrumental play makers in Franklin Regional’s rise this season.


Franklin Regional head coach Rand Hudson:

“These seniors have been in the playoffs every year, so they have gotten a little farther each time. We’ve gotten over some humps that were difficult in the past. They’re feeling confident, and they’ve got the bright lights, big city coming up.”

WPIAL Soccer History (Past Champions)

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. 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).

Riverhounds Postgame: Russell Cicerone after brace vs Indy

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