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WPIAL Notebook: Positive vibes aplenty at the arrival of preseason

Photo courtesy Rafal Kolankowski

High school soccer season is here, as schools across the area began Fall sports this week, including boys and girls soccer practices kicking off mostly on Monday.

We are excited to be entering our fifth year as Pittsburgh Soccer Now (and prior to that we provided coverage as Pittsburgh Soccer Report going back to 2015). During this time, we are proud to highlight the excitement of high school soccer in our region.

For the 2022 campaign, we intend to continue to offer the same quality coverage with a few new wrinkles (see below for more on our upcoming features and expected coverage for the season), as the core of our team members are returning to the fold.

In the meantime, we thought we’d open the first WPIAL Notebook of the season with some of the images and tweets coming from preseason practices thus far.  If you have any images to share with us, send them our way, as we’ll share on our social media platforms.

In addition, be sure to check out the WPIAL and PIAA Soccer schedules below and the updates to the classification and section alignment that took place in the offseason.

Note that per yesterday’s announcement from the WPIAL, the DIstrict Finals will return to Highmark Stadium for the second consecutive year, as they could be held either November 2nd-4th or November 3rd-5th, depending on the status of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC playoff schedule.  Basically if the Hounds are hosting a home playoff match (this would be the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference Final round), the match would be played on Saturday, November 5.

WPIAL Soccer: Preseason Begins 

2022 WPIAL Reclassification

In January, Pittsburgh Soccer Now reported the expected reallignment of WPIAL Soccer teams based on the updated enrollment numbers with a few significant moves both required and voluntary.

WPIAL announces 2022-2023 realignment for boys and girls soccer

Column: Kudos to WPIAL soccer programs setting higher standards, opting to move up in classification

Here’s the complete look at the allignment of schools by Classification and Section:

Boys Soccer Allignment (2022-23) 

Girls Soccer Allignment (2022-23) 

WPIAL Schedule 2022: Road to Highmark

  • Preseason / practices can begin:  Monday, August 15
  • First Scrimmage Date: Saturday, August 20
  • First Day of Season: Friday, August 26
  • Postseason Bracket Release: Wednesday, October 19
  • First Round: Saturday, October 22 & Monday, October 24
  • Quarterfinals: Wednesday, October 25 & Thursday, October 26
  • Semi-Finals: Saturday, October 28 & Monday, October 30
  • Championships (Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA):
    • Thursday, Friday & Saturday, November 3-5 ** 
    • **Note** If Riverhounds SC have home playoff match on November 5, matches will be switched to November 2-4

Here is the complete August-November calendar on the WPIAL site.

PIAA Postseason Schedule: Road to Mechanicsburg

  • Bracket Release:  Sunday, November 6
  • First Round: Tuesday, November 8 (Regional Sites)
  • Quarterfinals: Saturday, November 12 (Regional Sites)
  • Semi-Finals: Tuesday, November 15 (Regional Sites)
  • Championships: Friday, November 18 (1A & 3A) & Saturday, November 19 (2A & 4A) @Eagle View MS, Mechanicsburg

Pittsburgh Soccer Now’s WPIAL / PIAA Coverage for 2022

Here’s what you should expect from Pittsburgh Soccer Now this coming season.

  • **New** Podcast devoted to scholastic and youth soccer will make its debut very soon!  Be on the lookout for this exciting new addition to our high school coverage, as we plan to have coaches, players, school representatives with Pittsburgh Soccer Now contributors and members from the media included on the pod.
  • PSN Featured Games will continue — including broadcast on Pittsburgh Soccer Now‘s YouTube Channel, PSN photo galleries, post match interviews on Pittsburgh Sports Live/PSN YouTube, match report and more!
  • We will be kicking off our ‘PSN’s Featured Games’ schedule with the Pine-Richland Preseason Tournament which will feature six boys varsity teams (Pine-Richland, North Allegheny, Moon, Penn-Trafford, Franklin Regional and Winchester Thurston). Six games will be played in two days at Pine-Richland High School on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28.  Come on out and join us as we will be setting up a meet-and-greet table and a Media/Interview Center at the Tournament. We will have more information to come relating to our coverage of this tournament in the coming week.
  • If your school’s soccer program is interested in PSN’s Featured Game coverage, please reach out to us, as we still have open dates.
  • Daily scoreboard and weekly standings updates, plus previews of featured and key postseason matches
  • WPIAL and PIAA Postseason coverage including Bracket Release and round-the-clock coverage at the WPIAL Finals at Highmark Stadium.

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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