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WPIAL Boys Soccer Snapshot Preview, Predictions & Players to Watch: Class 3A

Photo by Ed Thompson

WPIAL Boys Soccer Snapshot Preview, Predictions & Players to Watch: Class 3A

WPIAL Class 3A Boys Soccer (31 teams) 

Defending champs:  Franklin Regional 

It Takes Two: Franklin Regional keeps WPIAL 3A boys’ crown from West Allegheny

Key Storylines: 

Can anyone knock off Franklin Regional? 

Not only do the Panthers return 34-goal scorer Anthony DiFalco, a junior, but they return a host of players who were part of a  team that has won back-to-back WPIAL titles and made a run to the PIAA semifinal in 2019.  

Still, what Franklin Regional has done in 3A is pretty remarkable considering the competition and how deep and talented this classification has become in recent years. This classification has the most teams (31), and numerous quality programs including Mars in Section 1, then a group of death in Section 2, with the likes of recent WPIAL championship winning schools that include South Fayette, West Allegheny and Chartiers Valley and last year’s section champs, Moon.

A year ago, Plum had an outstanding season in 4A, winning a section title, but now they have to contend with being in the same section as Franklin Regional. 

PSN FEATURED MATCH: We’re looking forward to bringing our second featured match of the season, in week two, for our Game of the Week, on Monday, September 21, when Plum hosts Franklin Regional in the first of their two section showdowns this season.

Belle Vernon may see a challenge from Trinity this year in Section 3, especially if they can’t find a way to corral Elijiah Cincinnati, who scored 37 goals last year.

Another thing that remains up in the air, is what the WPIAL playoff format will look like. The season is scheduled to be completed by October 19. The original playoff format would have seen the Finals being played at Highmark Stadium Thursday, October 29 through Saturday, October 31, but that’s up in the air at the moment.

Here’s a deeper look at the 3A breakdown by section following realignment.  (Bold: 2019 Section Champions; ^ moved up in classification)

SECTION 1:  

  • Armstrong
  • Freeport ^
  • Hampton
  • Highlands
  • Indiana
  • Knoch
  • Mars

SECTION 2:  

  • Beaver Area
  • Blackhawk
  • Central Valley ^
  • Chartiers Valley
  • Montour
  • Moon
  • South Fayette
  • West Allegheny 

SECTION 3: 

  • Albert Gallitan
  • Belle Vernon
  • Greensburg Salem
  • Laurel Highlands
  • Ringgold
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Trinity
  • Uniontown (not competing in section play this year)  

SECTION 4:  

  • Franklin Regional
  • Gateway
  • Obama Academy
  • Kiski
  • Penn Hills
  • Plum 
  • West Mifflin
  • Woodland Hills

Here’s our predictions for this year’s section champions in 4A Boys Soccer:

2020 Section Champions Predictions:  

Mars, Blackhawk, Belle Vernon, Franklin Regional

Players to Watch 

Elijah Cincinnati, Trinity

Anthony DiFalco, Franklin Regional

Chad Eldridge, South Fayette

D.D. Flowers, Plum

Cole Kaforey, Franklin Regional

Gabe Norris, Highlands 

Ethan Sanders, South Fayette

Daniel Sassack, Belle Vernon

Jaxson Ervin – West Allegheny

RJ Stetz – Montour

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).

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