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Clean Sweep! Seneca Valley, Mars, Deer Lakes & Greensburg Central Catholic all headed to Hershey

PIAA Soccer Boys Semifinal Round

FINAL:  2A – Deer Lakes 3, Fairview 0

FINAL: 1A – Greensburg Central Catholic 2, Brockway 1

FINAL: 3A – Mars 2, Cathedral Prep 1

FINAL : 4A – Seneca Valley 1, Cumberland Valley 0

Gameday Updates

Class 4A

Seneca Valley (15-1-1) vs Cumberland Valley (16-1), at Mansion Stadium, Altoona

It’s been a while since a boys program from the WPIAL won the PIAA’s highest classification title.

The WPIAL Champion Raiders got off to a good start in trying to be the first team from the district to return to the PIAA final since they were there in 2015, losing to Central Bucks East.  On Saturday, Seneca Valley exploded in the second half, scoring all of its goals in the final 45 minutes in beating State College, 6-0.  Once again, George Williams’ squad used a heavy dose of squad rotation to wear down State College.

Even with an impressive 16-1 record, Cumberland Valley may have had some fortune to have earned a spot in the state playoffs due to Manheim Township’s forfeit of the District 3 championship game, but they made the most of things in their PIAA opener on Saturday, shutting out District 4 champion, Williamsport, 1-0 and getting a timely, late second half goal.

Zach Blocher headed home a Patryk Nitecki pass which secured CV’s trip to the state semifinal.

Now the two teams will meet at a fairly equitable halfway point — in Altoona with a spot in the PIAA final at stake.

The winner plays the winner of Neshaminy/Emmaus on Saturday, at HersheyPark Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

Class 3A

Cathedral Prep (14-3) at Mars (18-0) 

Mars will face a Cathedral Prep squad that can light it up.  But of course, Chris Knauff’s team has seen this type of challenge already, having beat an immensely talented Franklin Regional in the WPIAL Final, 2-1.  

On Saturday, the FIghting Planets rolled to a 4-1 win against District 6 champion Holidaysburg.

The Ramblers opened the PIAA playoffs with 13 goals in a win over DuBois on Saturday.

Thus far, In three playoff matches, ECP have outscored opponents 31-2.

Saturday. Jack Foht, a Division I prospect, scored six first-half goals against DuBois and has 28 this season. Reece Johnson also scored on Saturday and has 15 goals, while Sam Louie has 14. Dominic Padalino leads Prep with 23 assists followed by Foht with 13 and Daniel Harrington with 10.

Mars will counter with solid defense that includes plenty of senior leadership — and a balanced scoring attack which turned things up a notch when trailing Franklin Regional early in the second half in the final.

Knauff won back-to-back WPIAL titles in 2007 and 2008 and the furthest the program advanced in the PIAA’s was to the final in 2007, where they lost to Palmyra, 2-0.  With a win on Tuesday, the Fighting Planets will return to the final for the first time since 2008.

The winner plays the winner of Northern/Upper Moreland on Friday, at HersheyPark Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

Class 2A

Fairview (19-0-1) at Deer Lakes (17-1) 

Deer Lakes can continue its impressive season and run, but they’ll have to do so against a team that hasn’t lost this season. On Saturday, the Lancers dominated Karns City in every aspect of its match, but they struggled to convert on numerous scoring chances until the second half.

Semi-Charmed Life: Determined Deer Lakes Advances in PIAA Boys 2A Tournament

Still, after a week between games, Deer Lakes possibly needed a full-80 minutes to get its act together. They’ll need to play better as the tournament continues Tuesday night.

“It’s been awesome around here after the WPIAL championship game, but we knew we weren’t done,” said Rodgers. “We want to go to states, and we’ve got a different mindset this time.” Deer Lakes, winner of 12 straight and producer of three clean sheets in five postseason outings, will take on District 10 champion Fairview.

Fairview rolled to a 3-1 win over Westmont Hilltop in the quarterfinals after a long trip to Johnstown. Aiden Piazza leads Fairview with 21 goals, while Zach Scott has 17 and Nathan George has 16. Josh Howells leads the Tigers with 15 assists and Drew Smith has 13.

This is Fairview’s first time back in the PIAA semifinals since 1992 when the Tigers fell to Quaker Valley 2-1.

The winner plays the Oley Valley-Lewisburg winner on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Hersheypark Stadium for the PIAA Class 2A championship.

Class 1A

Greensburg Central Catholic (16-1) vs Brockway (15-2), at Norwin High School

The Centurions have a chance to reach their first-ever PIAA final with a win on Tuesday.

For all of its success in WPIAL playoffs, GCC has never won a PIAA title, but have reached the state semifinals the last two seasons, each time losing to WPIAL rival (last year it was Winchester Thurston and in 2018, it was Avonworth). This time around, they won’t have to face WPIAL opposition, as Brockway, the District 9 champions, stand in their way.

GCC won a hard-fought, physical quarterfinal match, 3-2, against Rockwood, as Carlos Denis’ late second half goal was the difference.

It was Denis’ 33rd goal of the season.  Tyler Solis’ squad are certainly battle-tested now that they’ve won back-to-back 3-2 wins if you count the WPIAL title win against section foes Winchester Thurston on Saturday, November 7.

Brockway, with a brace from Nolan Swanson plus goals from Dom Inzana and Dylan Antonuccio ended Belleville Mennonite’s season in the quarterfinals with an impressive 4-0 win.

The winner goes to the state final set for 1:30 p.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium.

PIAA Championship Games 

  • Friday November 20  
    • 11 a.m. – Girls 1A: Greensburg Central Catholic winner vs Southern Columbia
    • 1:30 p.m.  – Boys 1A: Greensburg Central Catholic vs Tulpehocken/Faith Christian winner
    • 4 p.m. – Girls 3A: Mars vs Villa Joseph Marie vs Selinsgrove winner
    • 6:30 p.m. – Boys 3A: Mars vs Northern/Upper Moreland winner
  • Saturday November 21
    • 11 a.m. – Girls 2A: North Catrholic vs Bloomsburg/Allentown Central Catholic winner
    • 1:30 p.m.  – Boys 2A: Deer Lakes vs Oley Valley/Lewisburg winner
    • 4 p.m. – Girls 4A: North Allegheny vs Pennridge/Parkland winner
    • 6:30 p.m. – Boys 4A: Seneca Valley vs Neshaminy

PIAA Soccer Championship Resources

PIAA Soccer Championships Home Page 

Boys 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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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