The WPIAL boys soccer playoffs resume Thursday as it is Class 2A’s turn to take the stage for the quarterfinal round will determine this tournament’s final four.
And what a night it was for Section 4. All three remaining teams, Quaker Valley, Ambridge and North Catholic each have advance to the Final Four in this classification, with a third match of the season coming up Monday between neighboring Quaker Valley and Ambridge.
CONGRATULATIONS BOYS! Ambridge boys soccer win 2-1 in overtime! Goals by Anthony Powell and Will Gruca scored in overtime to secure the win.
— Bridger Brigade (@BridgerBrigade) October 29, 2021
— NC Boys Soccer (@NCHSBoysSoccer) October 29, 2021
Final here from The Pot.
— Charleroi HS Boys Soccer (@CharleroiSoccer) October 29, 2021
WPIAL Boys Class 2A Schedule
Quarterfinal Round – Thursday, October 28
|FINAL||North Catholic 1, South Park 0|
|FINAL||Ambridge 2, Shady Side Academy 1|
|FINAL||Charleroi 2, Elizabeth Forward 1|
|FINAL||Quaker Valley 14, East Allegheny 0|
Semifinal Round – Monday, November 1, 2021
- (9) North Catholic vs (4) Charleroi
- (2) Quaker Valley vs (6) Ambridge
Championship at Highmark Stadium – Thursday, November 4, 2021 – 6 p.m.
Preview / Eight Key Storylines
- Can a sleeper team knock off the top dogs… South Park and Quaker Valley? The top two seeds didn’t have much trouble in the first round, now they’ll face a bit more stern tests from a couple teams we might consider sleepers in this group, East Allegheny and North Catholic, who scored first round mild upsets (according to seeding). No. 2 Quaker Valley (16-2) handled Burrell, in the first round with a 5-1 win. Rown Kriebel and Keller Chamovitz are seniors who are the Quakers’ leading scorers who have plenty of big game experience, having been part of past WPIAL and PIAA winning teams. Quaker Valley are nine-time WPIAL champs and eight-time PIAA gold medal winners.
- South Park doesn’t concede goals easily. Scoring against No. 1 South Park (19-0) won’t come easy, as they’ve surrendered just five goals in 19 matches. They cruised to the Section 1 title with Andrew Spowart as one of the team’s top scorers. The Eagles don’t want a repeat of last season, when they lost 1-0 to Deer Lakes in the quarterfinal round.
- Can the Bridgers keep the scoring pace? One of the few teams to score on South Park this season? Ambridge (11-5), who finished second to Quaker Valley (ahead of North Catholic) are having a great season, but were dealt with a six seed. The Bridgers can score. They’ve scored 31 goals in their last five matches, inc;luding a 5-1 win against Leechburg on Monday.
- What kind of tricks will Ed Ellsworth have up his sleeve? Shady Side (11-2), under the direction of Ellsworth, always play their best soccer this time of the year and almost always make it to the semifinals and more often than not, have made it the WPIAL final. Leechburg were one of the two teams that defeated SSA this season, so now can Ambridge knock them off too? As a 3-seed this season, with some seniors who have been part of WPIAL title winning team when they were freshman, this team won’t be any easy out.
- Can perennial section champs Charleroi get to the final four? Eben McIntyre is a fantastic player who has led Charleroi to section title and has scored more than 100 goals (167 to be exact!) in his high school career. In the first round, Charleroi needed the Pitt commit’s talents to get them past a pesky effort from No. 13 Keystone Oaks, as his 70th goal of the season was the different in a close, hard-fought affair. For all of Charleroi’s success, they’ve not made it to the semifinals.
- The best non-section Mon Valley rivalry? Charleroi will next host fifth-seeded Elizabeth Forward (12-4), a 6-1 winner over Mount Pleasant, The teams were scheduled to play a non-section tilt Sept. 25, but the match was postponed. The teams have played four times over the last three years with Charleroi winning all four. It was EF’s Ethan Bowser who finished with a hat trick and added a pair of assists to lead the Warriors (12-4) into this match with Charleroi.
- More magic from EA? To get to the quarterfinal round, East Allegheny (11-5), a 10-seed in its first playoff appearance since 2018, dethroned the defending WPIAL champions, Deer Lakes on Monday. It was sophomore midfielder Ryan Nichol who scored off a rebound 24 seconds into overtime for the win. Junior captain Matthew Armenio scored the other goal.
- Can North Catholic build on its winning streak? It’s been an up-and-down season for North Catholic (10-7), win one, lose one…. but for the first time since early September, they’ve won two games in a row including a narrow 1-0 win vs McGuffey in the 8-9 match . Now, they’ll have their hands full with South Park.