The first round in WPIAL Boys Class 1A soccer playoffs showed how competitive this tournament is going to be as the Quarterfinal Round kicks off on Wednesday.
With the two-time defending champions, Winchester Thurston eliminated and their previous nemesis and the other most recent champion, Greensburg Central Catholic gone too, and very tight contests for even the highest seeds on Saturday, it feels very much like things are up for grabs in this classification.
Here’s a match-by-match overview of what we might expect as the tournament heats up, plus the up-to-date schedule and bracket below.
WPIAL Soccer Boys Class 1A Quarterfinal Round Match Capsules
#2 Sewickley Academy (13-2-1) vs #7 Bentworth (15-2-0)
Kickoff: 6 p.m. at Avonworth H.S.
How they got here: Both teams ran into feisty lower seeds in the first round. Bentworth needed an extra time game winner from John Scott assisted by Ryan Moessner, in a 2-1 victory; No. 2 Sewickley survived a 2-1 scare against Bishop Canevin.
Under the direction of new coach, Nick Malarbi, Bentworth has beaten every team they’ve faced this year, except for its section rival, Charleroi.
Players to Watch:
Sewickley will have to watch out for Moessner, who scored 26 goals in the regular season, and can also be a valuable playmaker, but Bentworth also has another 20+ goal scorer in John Scott (22).
For Sewickley, it’s Jackson Quigley who has been the team’s go-to scorer, but they do have a balanced attack and a solid defense, which allowed just 13 goals all season.
#1 Charleroi vs #9 Eden Christian Academy (13-3-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. at Charleroi H.S.
How they got here: Top-seeded Charleroi were tested in the first round, coming away with a narrow, 1-0 win vs Beaver County Christian as Dylan Klinger had the game-winner; Eden Christian has been knocking at the door of reaching the WPIAL final in recent years, but keep coming up short. Will this be their year? They knocked off the defending 1A Boys champs, Winchester Thurston, on Saturday.
Players to Watch:
Ben Rice has scored 16 goals for EC, while Charleroi has a number of players who can score, as Head Coach Jon Ducoli said on the Kids on the Pitch Podcast last week. Arlo McIntyre had 24 goals in the regular season, while Klinger and Bryce Large also had 17 while Landon Barcus had 12.
#3 Burrell (13-3-0) vs #11 Trinity Christian (10-5-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. at Burrell H.S.
How they got here: Burrell didn’t have much trouble dismantling Greensburg Central Catholic, 5-1, in the first round, while Trinity Christian pulled off one of the upsets in the first round, defeating c0-Section 4 champion Serra Catholic, as Sam Boyer and Luke Kost connected in the first half to take command of that match.
Players to Watch: Burrell’s Jayson Ireland has scored 16 goals this season, while Kost led Trinity Christian with 13 goals.
#4 Seton LaSalle (14-2-1) vs #5 Springdale (14-3-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. at Avonworth H.S.
How they got here: Seton LaSalle was on top of their game on Saturday, beating Beth-Center, 6-0, while Springdale defeated Carlynton, 3-1.
Players to Watch: Springdale’s Billy Lawrence (21) is among the WPIAL leaders in goals scored, but it’s when he Nate Dubas connect, when the Dynamos can do some serious damage. Dubas assisted on three of Lawrence’s goals on Saturday vs GCC. Seton LaSalle has been among the best defensive teams in the district this season, with Nick Cherry in goal, they’ve been tough to score goals against — as Cherry now has 13 clean sheets this season.
First Round Results (10/21/2023)
|Trinity Christian 1 Serra Catholic 0|
|Bentworth 2 Our Lady of Sacred Heart 1||ET|
|Burrell 5 Greensburg Central Catholic 1|
|Eden Christian 2 Winchester Thurston 1|
|Springdale 3 Carlynton 1|
|Sewickley Academy 2 Bishop Canevin 1|
|Seton LaSalle 6 Beth-Center 0|
|Charleroi 1 Beaver County Christian 0|
Semifinal Round (Monday, 10/30/2023)
Sewickley Academy/Bentworth winner vs Burrell/Trinity Christian winner
Charleroi/Eden Christian Academy winner vs Seton LaSalle/Springdale winner
Final (TBA @Highmark Stadium)