The WPIAL Boys Soccer playoffs will begin on Saturday, as both Class 1A and 3A will kickoff their respective tournaments with first round action.
The Plum Mustangs are the top seed in this year’s tournament, but this field is pretty much up for grabs, as there are a lot of teams that are capable of winning the entire thing. The other top seeds in this Classification — Hampton and Bethel Park also finished the season without a loss against 3A competition, while the fourth seed, Moon, the defending 3A champions, had to run through arguably the toughest section competition, especially considering that Montour and South Fayette are also both top eight seeds in this tournament.
On Wednesday, after the brackets were released, we had Plum Head Coach Rafal Kolankowski on the Kids on the Pitch Podcast.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s matches in Class 3A, with some match snippets included:
WPIAL Boys Soccer Class 3A – First Round Schedule & Bracket
|1:00pm||16 Chartiers Valley at 1 Plum|
|This is the first playoff appearance for Char Valley since 2019, led by interim HC Mike Blatz, who stepped in for longtime coach, Garrett Mackenzie.
Plum has not lost since its opening weekend tournament, to Class 4A Upper St. Clair.
The Mustangs are led by Tristan Ralph, showed his versatility playing multiple positions, posting double digit goals and assists this season.
|1:00pm||11 Franklin Regional at 6 Mars|
|This is a rematch of the 2020 WPIAL Final — a classic that saw Mars storm back to overtake a very talented FR side.
While Hampton took Section 1 this year, under Chris Knauff’s direction, Mars cannot be taken lightly.
The Planets are in excellent form, having won five straight to improve its seeding for the tournament.
Coached by former Pitt player, Lukas Petersen, Franklin Regional ended up finishing third to Plum and Latrobe in their section.
|1:00pm||15 Trinity at 2 Hampton|
|The Talbots won the WPIAL in 2021, and Head Coach Matt McAwley, has his program back as a serious title contender.
Undefeated against Class 3A competition, like Plum, Hampton’s only loss is against Class 4A schools, North Allegheny and Pine-Richland.
Trinity have won four straight matches, and interestingly its last four losses have all come in Extra time against playoff-bound teams.
|1:00pm||10 North Catholic at 7 Thomas Jefferson|
|How competitive is Class 3A boys bracket? Thomas Jefferson has just two losses this season, to Bethel Park and Quaker Valley — very high seeds in 3A and 2A.
The Jags are in good form, winning five straight heading into the playoffs.
North Catholic is a battle-tested team who has played a tough schedule. They’ve responded since late September 3-0 loss to North Catholic, on PSN’s Featured Match broadcast.
Its only loss came in the final match, 3-2, vs section champs Hampton.
|1:00pm||9 Latrobe at 8 South Fayette|
|Latrobe showed that they can go toe-to-toe with number one seed Plum this season, and will be a team to keep an eye on in this tournament.
South Fayette’s idea of getting ready for the playoffs consisted of playing two Class 4A teams, Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon earlier this week.
The Lions finished strong in section play, winning five of its last six matches, with the one loss coming to Section champions Moon, in Extra Time.
|3:00pm||14 Indiana at 3 Bethel Park|
|Bethel Park won its first section title since dropping down to 3A a couple years ago. Like the two teams seeded above them, they’re without a loss against Class 3A competition.
Needing to beat Kiski Area in the final section match of the regular season, Indiana showed plenty of attacking firepower, with a 5-1 victory last Thursday.
|3:00pm||13 Ringgold at 4 Moon|
|Despite some injuries and tough competition in and out of section this season, Moon still managed to win the Section title.
For the Tigers to make another deep run, they’ll have to defend more consistently, and it all starts with their high press, which still remains effective.
Ringgold won 11 of its first 13 matches, but have cooled off considerably down the stretch.
|12 Gateway at 5 Montour
The seeding committee didn’t see a lot of separation between Moon and Montour. The Spartans topped Moon in their return match, 3-1, and finished a half game behind the Tigers in that tough section.
Montour last won WPIAL title in 2018, when they upset another section rival, West Allegheny in the final.
Gateway has wins against both Franklin Regional and Latrobe, and for a lower seed, has a decent +16 goal differential.
Boys 3A Playoff Schedule
- 1st Round: Saturday, October 21 (at highest seed)
- Quarterfinal Round Wednesday, October 25 (at highest seed)
- Semifinal Round Monday, October 30 (TBA)
- Finals TBA (at Highmark Stadium)
WPIAL Boys & Girls Soccer Playoffs
- 1st Round: Saturday, October 21, Monday, October 23, Tuesday, October 24
- Quarterfinal Round Wednesday, October 25 and Thursday, October 26
- Semifinal Round Saturday October 28, Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, October 31
- Finals Wednesday, November 1, Thursday, November 2, Friday, November 3, Saturday November 4