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Preview: Taking a closer look at WPIAL Girls Class 1A quarterfinals

File Photo courtesy of Ed Thompson

We’ve reached the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL girls soccer playoffs.

Ahead of Wednesday’s matches in Class 1A, here’s a quick look at the match-ups.

QUARTERFINAL ROUND (Wednesday, October 28)

12. Serra Catholic vs 13. South Side Beaver (6 p.m. – at Freedom)  

Two teams that started out the playoffs as lower seeds, but came up with big wins on Saturday will meet in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday.  Finishing third in a tough section with OLSH and Freedom, South Side has held its own all this season, with its only losses coming to those teams.  In addition to beating OLSH this season, South Side scored the upset by beating 4th seeded Sewickley Academy, 2-1, on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs.  Serra Catholic, led by a previous PSN Player of the Week Jaime Dermotta, scored a big first-round win against Section 4 champs, Bishop Canevin.

1. Greensburg Central Catholic vs 8. Springdale (6:30 pm – at Norwin) 

For the first 50 plus minutes of its first round match against Riverside, Greensburg Central had trouble scoring, but its overall quality showed throughout the match as they eventually pulled away for a 3-0 win. Now, they’ll face section rivals Springdale, who’ve been up-and-down this year, including losing twice to the Centurians (6-0 & 4-1).

Springdale showed they can get on the front foot and dominate possession in an impressive 4-1 win vs Bentworth on Saturday when they unleashed 35 shots, 26 on goal and added nine corners. Now, we’ll see if the third time will be a charm for the Dynamo as they’ll be playing with little to lose in seeking an upset of Section 1 champions.

7. Chartiers-Houston at 2. Steel Valley (6:30 p.m.) 

This is yet another section rematch. It’s been an impressive season for Steel Valley, as they’ve built an impressive 13-0-1 overall record (11-0-1 in section) with Kelsey Salopek leading the way with 38 regular season goals. If one team knows how to slow down Salopek and the Ironmen(women!), it’s Char-Houston.  They handed Steel Valley its only non-win this season, a 3-3 draw in October, after losing 4-1 on September 15.

Steel Valley showed its offensive firepower, by rolling to a 7-0 win in the first round against Ligonier Valley, while Char-Houston squeezed out a 2-1 win vs Ellis School.

6. OLSH at 3. Freedom

It seems as no matter the year, Freedom, under the direction of Colin Williams, is able to reload and still be one of the top teams each year. This season, they won its section title with a 9-1 record but had a tough challenge from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. After a narrow Freedom, 2-1 win in September, OLSH returned the favor on October 12, when Julia Centofani (who earned PSN’s Girls Player of the Week) spearheaded a 4-2 win against first-place Freedom, who had not lost a regular season game since 2015, by tallying two goals and one more assist.

This should be a great ‘rubber-match’ between the two section rivals.

In the first round on Saturday, Freedom rolled to a 6-0 win vs Eden Christian while OLSH also won going away, 5-1, vs Seton LaSalle.

Semifinal Round (Monday, November 2) 

Greensburg Central Catholic/Springdale winner vs Serra Catholic/South Side winner

Chartiers-Houston/Steel Valley winner vs OLSH/Freedom winner

Click here to find the WPIAL Class 1A Girls Soccer bracket for the 2020 playoff tournament.

First Round – Saturday, Oct 24 

Springdale 4, Bentworth 1

OLSH 5, Seton LaSalle 1

Chartiers Houston 2, Ellis School 1

Steel Valley 7, Ligonier Valley 0

South Side Beaver 2, Sewickley 1

Serra Catholic 2, Bishop Canevin 1

Greensburg Central Catholic 3, Riverside 0

Late second half surge propels Greensburg Central Catholic to 3-0 win vs pesky Riverside

Freedom 6, Eden Christian 0

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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