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WPIAL Girls Soccer 2020-21 realignment takeaways

File photo by Ed Thompson

The WPIAL announced its section realignment for Fall sports on Monday night. 

Here, I’ll take a look at the girls soccer side of things, who will be moving to create new rivals, who are the early threats to section titles and, in some cases, what to make of some newly created sections.

Class 4A

SECTION 1:  Butler, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler Area

SECTION 2:   Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon McMillan, Moon, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Twp and Upper St. Clair

SECTION 3:   Allderdice, Fox Chapel, Hempfield, Latrobe, Norwin, Penn-Trafford 

Class 4A stood pat for the most part. The classification will see the departures of Connellsville, Brashear and Penn Hills. The interesting move in 4A will be the addition of Fox Chapel (10-8-1) to Section 3 which has been top heavy dominate with Norwin (18-3-0) and Penn Trafford (12-7-0). Fox Chapel took Norwin to the very end in the WPIAL playoffs last season, which was one of the most entertaining games all year. Coming off the heels of that highly contested game, I am sure it will not take much to spark a section rivalry. 

Class 3A

SECTION 1 – Armstrong, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Hampton, Indiana, Kiski, Knoch

SECTION 2: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Connellsville, Greensburg Salem, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Trinity, Uniontown

SECTION 3: Brashear, Oakland Catholic, Obama Academy, Penn Hills, Plum, Thomas Jefferson, Woodland Hills

SECTION 4:  Blackhawk, Central Valley, Mars, Montour, South Fayette, West Allegheny 

Class 3A sees the defending 3A WPIAL and PIAA champions Mars (22-0-1) move over to Section 4. West Allegheny (17-4-0) coming off a successful season, saw their season come to an end at the hands of Mars in the PIAA Quarter Finals. Now they get them twice a season.

The biggest change comes to Section 2 where Belle Vernon (16-5-0) has been the dominate team over the last several years. They will see new challenges to their section dominance come in the form of the Connellsville Falcons (12-6-0) as they dropped down from Class 4A. In addition, Trinity (8-8-1) moved from Section 3 to Section 2 to round off the section. Trinity was a playoff team last year.

Brashear (0-17-0) and Penn Hills (5-11-2) move away from 4A to find their selves in 3A Section 3. Both coming from very dominate sections get no favors being dropped in with WPIAL finalist Plum (17-3-1), section stalwart Oakland Catholic (13-5-1) and Thomas Jefferson (12-7-1).

Class 2A

SECTION 1:  Ambridge, Avonworth, Beaver Area, Ellwood City, Hopewell, North Catholic, Quaker Valley

SECTION 2: Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport, Highlands, Shady Side Academy, Valley 

SECTION 3: Brownsville, McGuffey, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Waynesburg, Yough

SECTION 4: East Allegheny, Elizabeth Forward, Keystone Oaks, South Allegheny, South Park, West Mifflin 

Class 2A did some redesigning by adding an entire section. Section 4A will be dubbed that new car smell section. The only thing is it comes with Class 2A powerhouse South Park (14-5-1), who will look to continue their section dominance in the newly formed section.

Shady Side Academy (20-2-0) jumps up from Class 1A into Class 2A Section 2. The perennial Class 1A favorite who has won several WPIAL titles along with a state title over recent years lose rival Greensburg Central Catholic but will gain a new foe in Burrell (17-1-0). 

Section 1 gains Ambridge (10-6-1) a team that has competed strongly in 3A over the last several years. Ellwood City is new to the WPIAL as they were a club team the last two years. The girl’s team was formed for the 2018 season and last competed in 2013.

Class 1A

SECTION 1:  Apollo Ridge, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Ligonier Valley, Riverview, Serra Catholic, Springdale

SECTION 2: Bentworth, Beth-Center, Charleroi, Chartiers-Houston, Monessen, Seton-LaSalle, Steel Valley 

SECTION 3: Freedom, Mohawk, Neshonnock, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Quigley, Riverside, South Side Beaver

SECTION 4: Bishop Canevin, Carlynton, Eden Christian, Ellis School, Sewickley Academy, Vincentian, Winchester Thurston

Class 1A will have a new champion with the departure of Shady Side Academy.  Does it just mean Greensburg Central Catholic (16-5-0) and Freedom (22-2-0) will make their run to Highmark or will someone new step up to challenge the two powerhouse schools. Can Bentworth who has had great runs with a WPIAL runner-up in 2018 return to challenge them.

Section 1 will see the addition of Apollo Ridge (6-9-0). It will be a familiar section for them as they left Class 1A Section 1 to move to Class 2A after the 2017 season. Section 1 will also add Ligonier Valley from District 6. 

Section 2 with fore mentioned Bentworth (18-3-0) will welcome Seton LaSalle to the fray. Seton LaSalle (13-6-0) lost in the WPIAL Quarter Finals vs GCC last year. Steel Valley (11-7-0) will moved down from Class 2A into Section 1. Steel Valley a playoff team from last season saw their season come to an end in the first round versus Brownsville.

Sewickley Academy will slide over to Section 4 taking the place of Seton LaSalle. Bishop Canevin (13-3-1) was the runner up in Section 4. 

Section 3 will remain untouched in Class 1A.

Now all there is to do is speculate which teams will make a run towards section titles and playoff dominance, at least until August and the players report to camps.

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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