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WPIAL Soccer Watch (9/30/2023): Cross-classification, non-section matches could help determine playoff seeding


Saturday, September 30, 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.

It’s Saturday, so that means the high school soccer schedules will lighten up a bit and shift mostly from intense section competition, to non-Section and in some cases, cross-classification match-ups.

Among the most interesting matches on the Girls side, pits Class 4A Fox Chapel against Class 3A Moon in a 9 a.m. kickoff.   The Tigers (8-1-1, 5-1-1)  have bounced back nicely with three straight wins after seeing its 48-match unbeaten streak snapped.  Fox Chapel (7-3-1, 5-3-1 in section) is unbeaten in its last three, including 1-1 draw vs front-running Seneca Valley.

On the boys side, there is a very important match in Class 3A, Section 1, as North Catholic will face Kiski Area in a battle of teams fighting for potentially the last spot out of their section for a playoff berth.  Note: This was a match that was originally scheduled for 9/12, but postponed.  

The schools will face each other twice in less than a week, as the return match is schedule for Thursday.

Other cross-classification boys matches include Moon (3A) vs Central Catholic (4A), Ringgold (3A) vs South Park (2A), neighboring rivalry Norwin (4A) vs Penn-Trafford (3A), and Quaker Valley (2A) vs Thomas Jefferson (3A).

These are the types of matches the WPIAL Playoff Seeding committee may be paying attention to when they sit down in a few weeks to finalize the playoff seedings across all four classifications for boys and girls.

A few good examples of this include South Park boys, who are 13-0-0 overall (10-0-0 in section) and likely have the inside track to a number one overall seed in Class 2A, step up to face Ringgold (10-2-0, 8-2-0 section), who are a team that would love nothing better than to improve its seeding potential in a very competitive Class 3A (Section 3).  The same can be said for Quaker Valley, who are likely going to be one of the teams in contention with South Park for the top seed in Class 2A, as they’ll face another team in Class 3A, Section 3, Thomas Jefferson.  Quaker Valley (9-3-0, 8-1-0 in section) were defeated by section rival Avonworth in a return match earlier this week, so they’ll have less room for error if they want to secure the top seed.

Of course,  defending champion Deer Lakes and section rival Shady Side Academy (both idle on Saturday), over in Section 2, in Class 2A, have split their season series as well as SSA took the return match, 6-2 on Thursday, so the door is open for South Park to secure the top seed again this year.

GIRLS SCHEDULE (9/30/2023)

Class 3A

Section 4 (3A)
6:30pm Blackhawk at Chartiers Valley

Non Section

9:00am  Moon at Fox Chapel
10:00am Carrick at Aquinas Academy
10:00am Ambridge at Knoch
10:00am West Allegheny at Brashear
12:00pm Woodland Hills at Gateway
12:00pm Deer Lakes at South Allegheny
1:30pm  Norwin at Penn-Trafford

BOYS SCHEDULE (9/30/2023)

Class 3A

Section 2 (3A)
5:30pm Blackhawk at Chartiers Valley
   Section 1 (3A)

10:00am  North Catholic vs Kiski Area

Non Section

10:00am Armstrong at Freeport
3:15pm Bethel Park at Brashear
11:00am Carrick at Aquinas Academy
2:30pm Central Catholic at Moon
3:30pm Norwin at Penn-Trafford
10:00am Obama Academy at Jeannette
12:00pm Quaker Valley at Thomas Jefferson
12:30pm Ringgold at South Park
4:00pm Riverview at Leechburg

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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