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Fab Four! North Allegheny, Mars, North Catholic & Greensburg Central Catholic girls advance to PIAA finals

Fab Four! North Allegheny, Mars, North Catholic & Greensburg Central Catholic girls advance to PIAA finals

PIAA Soccer Girls Semifinal Round

FINAL:  1A: Greensburg Central Catholic 5, Cambridge Springs 0
FINAL:  2A: North Catholic 2, Villa Marie 0
FINAL  4A: North Allegheny 1, Cumberland Valley 0
FINAL: 3A:  Mars 2, Mechanicsburg 0

Gameday Updates

Here’s Ed Rosensteel’s recap of Greensburg Central Catholic’s 7-0 win vs Cambridge Springs.

Greensburg Central Catholic girls roll past Cambridge Springs, 7-0, to advance to first PIAA final since 2014

Class 4A

North Allegheny (12-1) vs  Cumberland Valley (15-1) at Mansion Stadium, Altoona

This will be a rematch of last year’s opening PIAA round match, which North Allegheny won, 1-0.

This year’s North Allegheny squad have won back-to-back WPIAL titles and continued to ride a strong wave of momentum from an impressive run in the WPIAL playoffs with a 5-1 first round win vs Erie McDowell in the PIAA Quarterfinal on Saturday.

Led by 2019 and 2020 ‘Moe’ Rosensteel Award nominee Sarah Schupansky the Tigers have outscored the opposition 16-2 in the postseason.

The Tigers will face Cumberland Valley — who also scored four goals in its PIAA opening win.

The Eagles were tied with Archbishop Carroll at the half, but Emily Mashinski’s goal at 41:24 kickstarted things for Cumberland Valley on Saturday..Mashinski later assisted on the second of two Lexi LaCombe goals, and Rylee Fry capped a sterling second half by George Gemberling’s Eagles with a late tally from just in front of the net.

The reigning District 3 champions appear ready for the rematch with North Allegheny.

Class 3A

Mars (17-0) vs Mechanicsburg at Holidaysburg 

Can anyone stop Mars?

The experienced WPIAL and defending PIAA champions are two games away from completing an impressive mission of winning back-to-back state titles. After opening its PIAA title defense with an impressive 8-0 throbbing of District 9 champion Warren, the Fighting Planets now face what should be tougher test from Mechanicsburg as they make the trip to Blair County as this match will be hosted by Holidaysburg High School.

Much like Mars, Mechanicsburg feature some division one commits and showed they can fill the net, blowing past Hollidaysburg, 6-1, and into the semifinals with an impressive showing on Saturday.

Mars coach Blair Gerlach and his team will have to contain Halle Engle, who reached 200 points for her career in Saturday’s game, scoring two goals and collecting two assists for the District 3 champions.  Engle also scored a game-winning free-kick in their District 3 championship win vs Lampeter-Strasburg.

In the win vs Holidaysburg, Engle’s first goal came early in the first half, then added an assist to Pitt commit Elena Hinkson to push it to 2-0 after 16 minutes. She scored her second goal two minutes later.

Including its four-game run in the WPIAL playoffs and Saturday’s PIAA win, Mars have outscored the opposition 23-2 this postseason.

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.

Class 2A 

North Catholic (13-2-1) vs Bedford (14-0) at Mars 

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.

The Trojans won’t get a chance at avenging last year’s PIAA loss to Villa Marie, as Bedford cruised to a 5-0 win vs Villa Marie in the quarterfinal on Saturday.

While North Catholic brings an experienced line-up, and scoring prowess of Jayden Sharpless, they’ll be tested on the defensive side by a team that has outscored its opponents 108-2 this season. Bedford’s Grace Sarver, who scored four goals in the big win vs Villa Marie to bring her career total to 75.  This is the third time in four years Bedford has reached this point in the PIAA Girls 2A Playoffs.

With a win, North Catholic girls soccer program will advance to the PIAA title game for the first time in school history. The boys advanced to the PIAA final in 2017.

Greensburg Central Catholic (18-0) vs Cambridge Springs (14-4-1) at Norwin 

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).

Ella Nicholson scored in the final minutes of double overtime to give the Cambridge Springs (14-4-1) a historic win in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals at Redbank Valley High School.

While GCC is looking for its first appearance in the PIAA final since 2014, the Cambridge Springs Blue Devils had never won a PIAA playoff match before Saturday.

 


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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