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WPIAL Soccer Watch (9/9/2023): Led by ‘Bama-bound Fiona Mahan, Avonworth girls to face top Ohio school

File photo courtesy Ed Thompson


Saturday, September 9, 2023 

If you have any updates to provide, please share on Twitter using #WPIALSoccer and/or include Pittsburgh Soccer Now’s Twitter handle @pghsoccernow.

For the 2023 High School soccer season, we will be using this forum to preview upcoming matches, share news and information and also share more from coaches and players, followed by a final WPIAL Scoreboard to post later that evening or early the following morning.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, WPIAL schedules shifted a bit this week, forcing most of the Section schedules for high school girls teams to be played only one day this week, on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the schedule on Saturday is almost entirely a non-section slate for both boys and girls, with some very good match-ups that include some cross-Classification matches including these on the boys side: Deer Lakes (2A) at North Hills (4A), North Allegheny (4A) at Hampton (3A), North Catholic (3A) at Seton-LaSalle (1A), South Fayette (3A) at Canon-McMillan (4A).

Among the girls non-section matches of note include: Butler (4A) at Moon (3A), Chartiers Valley (3A) at North Hills (4A), Indiana (2A) at Shaler (4A), North Catholic (2A) at Pine-Richland (4A), West Allegheny (3A) at Peters Township (4A) and defending WPIAL champs North Allegheny will face Erie McDowell.

In  addition ,there seems to be a growing trend of teams taking on out of state competition.  We just saw at the Pine-Richland JRK Memorial Classic, Wheeling Park (WV), played two matches against WPIAL competition.

There are other schools who have added some interesting non-section competition from out of the WPIAL and out of state, including two-time defending WPIAL Class 2A Girls champs, Avonworth, who will face Canfield, from Youngstown, Ohio area, on Saturday.

Canfield is a high school program in Ohio’s second highest division similar to Class 3A in PA).  The Cardinals boast a pair of all state players and many other ECNL (Elite Clubs National League) players.

“We are excited to host a great team from Ohio this weekend. (Avonworth’s Assistant coach) Emil (Erhart) does a lot of our non-section scheduling and looking for teams that are comparable, but from other states or districts has been a focus the past few years,” J.C. Mahan, Avonworth Head Coach told Pittsburgh Soccer Now this week.

“Last year we played Karns City and Slippery Rock. This year we have already played Cathedral Prep out of Erie and later in the season we will play Karns City and General McLane.”

Mahon’s daughter, junior midfielder/forward Fiona, though, has been the one getting all of the attention this week, as she recently made her college commitment to the University of Alabama.

Most recently, Mahan, who also trains and plays with Riverhounds Development Academy, participated in US Youth National Team’s U17 camp in June.

Avonworth and Pittsburgh Riverhounds midfielder Fiona Mahan receives invite to USYNT U17 Camp

Mahan is one of the best players in the WPIAL, as her success with Avonworth in her first two high school seasons has been well-documented. She scored the winning goal in overtime over North Catholic to win the school’s first WPIAL Title in 2021 and then scored two goals in the WPIAL Championship game over Mt. Pleasant to make it back-to-back titles.

But Mahan is not the only student-athlete in this match-up who competes at a high level and has college aspiration, as numerous Avonworth and Canfield players play in the ECNL, both with the Riverhounds and other Ohio Valley clubs.

Avonworth also boasts Minah Syam (committed to Morehead State), Allie Nau (Penn State Behrend), Emma Luther (Baldwin-Wallace) and Gianna Babusci (undecided).

On Saturday’s match, Mahon added that this match will give his players another opportunity to deal with an unknown and difficult opponent.

“This should be a great test for both teams.”


Class 4A

Section 2 (4A)

12:30pm    Bethel Park at Mt. Lebanon

Class 3A

Section 3 (3A)

1:30pm    Hempfield at Penn-Trafford

Non Section

10:00am   Carrick at Uniontown

10:00am   Beaver Area at South Side Beaver

10:00am   Indiana at Shaler

10:00am   Monessen at Jeannette

10:30am  Burrell at Armstrong

11:00am    Bishop Canevin at Sewickley Academy

1:00pm   Elizabeth Forward at Mount Pleasant

1:00pm   Keystone Oaks at Deer Lakes

1:00pm    Bentworth at East Allegheny

1:30pm    Ringgold at Baldwin

2:00pm   Blackhawk at Central Valley

2:30pm  Butler at Moon

2:30pm   McDowell at North Allegheny

2:30pm   Montour at Plum

2:30pm   West Allegheny at Peters Township

3:00pm    South Fayette at Canon-McMillan

3:30pm   Chartiers Valley at North Hills

7:00pm   Charleroi at McGuffey

7:30pm   North Catholic at Pine-Richland


Class 3A
Section 4 (3A)
12:00pm Plum at Obama Academy
Non Section 
12:45pm Bishop Canevin at Sewickley Academy
12:00pm Carrick at Uniontown
1:00pm Chartiers-Houston at Riverview
12:00pm Deer Lakes at North Hills
12:00pm Eden Christian at Greensburg Central Catholic
1:00pm McGuffey at Charleroi
1:00pm North Allegheny at Hampton
10:00am North Catholic at Seton LaSalle
12:30pm Penn-Trafford at Hempfield
10:00am Serra Catholic at Brashear
3:00pm South Fayette at Canon-McMillan
12:30pm West Mifflin at Ringgold
12:30pm Valley at Jeannette


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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