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Final Scoreboard: PIAA Soccer Girls Quarterfinal Round

File Photo courtesy of Ed Thompson

Final Scoreboard: PIAA Soccer Girls Quarterfinal Round

PIAA Soccer Girls Quarterfinal Round

FINAL:  1A – Greensburg Central Catholic 7, West Branch 1

FINAL:  2A – North Catholic 5. Clearfield 2 

FINAL:  4A – North Allegheny 5, Erie McDowell 1

FINAL: 3A – Mars 8, Warren 0

Gameday Updates

Here are the semifinal round match-ups. Sites and times have not been confirmed.

  • 1A – Greensburg Central Catholic vs Cambridge Springs
  • 2A – North Catholic vs Villa Marie
  • 3A – Mars vs Mechanicsburg
  • 4A – North Allegheny vs Cumberland Valley

It’s a final at Mars:

Mars 8, Warren 0 

Previews

Class 4A

North Allegheny (11-1) vs Erie McDowell, District 10 champion (9-0-1) at Hampton

From 2015 through 2017, the WPIAL ruled the top classification in PIAA girls soccer, with Upper St. Clair, Canon-McMillan and Norwin taking the PIAA titles. Since that time, a WPIAL girls 4A school has yet to reach the PIAA final.

This year’s North Allegheny squad have won back-to-back WPIAL titles and are riding a strong wave of momentum from an impressive run in the WPIAL playoffs, as they’ve brought plenty of scoring punch, led my 2019 and 2020 ‘Moe’ Rosensteel Award nominee Sarah Schupansky.  They have speed everywhere and it poses a problem for a lot of teams. The Tigers, who were relegated to a 5-seed in the WPIAL tournament as they had their regular season cut short by two weeks, have won four straight in the playoffs by outscoring the opposition 11-1.  In the WPIAL final, they were pushed by section foe, Butler, but a Lucia Wells golden goal along with solid goalkeeping, including a penalty kick save by keeper Julia Werner, the Tigers were district champs once again.

The Tigers will face Erie McDowell, who haven’t won a PIAA quarterfinal match since beating Peters Township 2-1 in 2009. That year, the Trojans went on to beat Norwin in overtime in the semifinals and fall to Downingtown West in the state championship.

In nine matches on the field, McDowell has allowed just two goals this season and both came in a 3-2 win over Mercyhurst Prep. McDowell has eight shutouts this year behind a strong back line and keeper Nicole Lichtinger. Alayna Wicker and Grace Emmanuel each have eight goals to lead the Trojans this year and Emmanuel has nine assists. North Allegheny is on a seven-match winning streak since losing to Butler and Fox Chapel in a span of six days. The Tigers earned payback against Butler with a 2-1 win in the WPIAL championship last week. North Allegheny has two Pitt commits in Sarah Schupansky and Madison Vukas. Schupansky has 57 career goals for the Tigers. North Allegheny beat Butler in overtime after allowing a tying penalty kick with 32 seconds left in regulation. The Tigers have a solid keeper in Juliann Werner, who stopped an earlier penalty kick in the match, and Lucia Wells scored the game-winner in double overtim

Class 3A

Warren, District 9 champion (18-0) at Mars (16-0)

This will be a battle of unbeaten district champions. Warren knocked off previous unbeaten Bradford, 2-1, in Tuesday’s opening round of the Girls 3A PIAA playoffs.

Now, they’ll have to face the challenge of beating another team that’s been unbeaten going back a few seasons now.

Mars rolled to the 2019 WPIAL and PIAA title.  This year, with a similar cast, in the WPIAL final, they completely controlled the match, but a tough Plum squad made them work a bit harder in 1-0 result.  In last year’s PIAA playoff run, Mars topped their unbeaten season by beating Villa Joseph Marie, 1-0, in the final. Along the way, they pummeled the opposition, by a 15-2 margin.

Mars roster is loaded with experience and talent, including 2019 Kaitlyn ‘Moe’ Rosensteel Most Outstanding Player honoree and again 2020 nominee Ellie Coffield (Pitt), Gracie Dunaway (Purdue), Corline Wrobleski, Leana Cuzzocera and keeper Courtney Lisman and a cast of others. This is a program under the guidance of Head Coach Blair Gerlach which has won seven WPIAL titles, and now are aiming for another PIAA crown, which would be an impressive way for its senior class to complete an impressive run.

The last two times these schools met in the PIAA playoffs, in 2017 and last year, Mars won by comfortable, 6-1 margins.

Class 2A 

North Catholic (13-2-1) vs Clearfield, District 9 champion (15-2-1) at Mars 

Under the direction of head coach Emily Karr, North Catholic has now won back-to-back WPIAL girls soccer titles — thanks in large part of Jayden Sharpless’ precision on free kicks in big moments.

Sharpless Stays On Target: North Catholic wins back-to-back titles

After winning the WPIAL title last year, the Trojans won its first two PIAA matches but lost in the state semifinal to VIlla Marie, 4-2. That’s the furthest North Catholic has ever advanced in the PIAA’s. Since PIAA went to four classifications in 2016, no WPIAL school has made it to the PIAA final.  Could this be the year that happens?  The Trojans certainly have the championship pedigree and with the talent on its roster — they’re more than capable of getting there.

On November 4, the Bison used a strong second half to knock off the eight-time defending D-9 champion Karns City in a high-scoring affair, 5-4, at Brockway’s Frank Varischetti Field to capture the Class 2A championship. The title-game meeting was the fifth in a row between the schools, but the first time that Clearfield finally soared past Karns City.

Class 1A 

West Branch, District 6 champion (18-2) at Greensburg Central Catholic (16-0) 

The road through the WPIAL playoffs and then the PIAA for Greensburg Central for much of the last decade has found them constantly running into long-time section rival Shady Side Academy. In fact, when it came to the PIAA’s, it was Shady Side who’s represented the WPIAL in the PIAA finals three different times in the past five years in this classification.

GCC made it to the PIAA final three straight years, from 2012 to 2014, winning it all twice, in 2013 and 2013. However, this season, Shady Side moved up to Class 2A, leaving GCC with having to face some different obstacles. In the WPIAL playoffs, they faced a fierce challenge from the young ladies of Our Lady of Sacred Heart, but they held on for a 2-1 win in the final. GCC, have plenty of offensive firepower, with four girls who have scored 13 or more goals: Sara Felder (25), Tatum Gretz (22), Sam Felder (20) and Jessica Nemeth (13).

West Branch played on Tuesday in the first round of the PIAA Class A playoffs, beating Fannett-Metal on its home field 2-1 in overtime on the second Trinity Prestash goal of the game. It was the first-ever PIAA playoff win for West Branch.  Junior Lauren Timbin has 15 goals for the Warriors.

 


Semifinal Round

  • Tuesday, November 17 
    • Remaining WPIAL teams which advance (sites and game times TBA)

Championship Games 

  • Friday November 20  
    • 11 a.m. – Girls 1A
    • 4 p.m. – Girls 3A
  • Saturday November 21
    • 11 a.m. – Girls 2A
    • 4 p.m. – Girls 4A

PIAA Soccer Championship Resources

PIAA Soccer Championships Home Page 

Girls Brackets 

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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