Following the WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 3A tournament quarterfinal round on Thursday, one common theme popped up — the top three teams from Section 4 are all pretty good.
That’s right, Moon, South Fayette and Montour all advanced, while No. 1 Mars also moved on to the semifinal round, despite getting a stern test against No. 9 Elizabeth Forward.
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 3A Quarterfinal Round Results
Mars 1, Elizabeth Forward 0
Tonight we won 1-0 over Elizabeth Forward!
Rosie Pellegrino 1G
Kayleigh Clark 1A
— Mars Girls Soccer (@marsgirlssoccer) October 27, 2023
Moon 1, Latrobe 0
Sydney Felton’s corner shot found the back of the net early in the second half for the game’s only goal, and Serayah Leech posted the 51st shutout of her high school career to lead Moon (13-1-2).
Montour 2, Plum 0
Behind a pair of goals from Grace Bannon and a sterling performance by goalkeeper Allison Armitage, No. 7 Montour upset No. 2 Plum, 2-0, in the WPIAL Class 3A girls soccer quarterfinals Thursday night.
The Spartans (14-2-3) ended Plum’s undefeated season at 16-1-1 and advanced to play No. 3 Moon in Tuesday’s semifinal.
South Fayette 3, Thomas Jefferson 0
Emily Sinton, Abbey Spalla and Olivia Renk with the South Fayette goals.
— McPgh (@BobMcPgh) October 27, 2023
Semifinal Round Schedule (10/31/2023):
#1 Mars vs #5 South Fayette
#7 Montour vs #3 Moon
Final (TBA @HighmarkStadium):
First Round Results (10/23/2023):
|FINAL||Latrobe 3, West Allegheny 1|
|FINAL||South Fayette 5, Penn-Trafford 0|
|FINAL||Thomas Jefferson 4, Oakland Catholic 0|
|FINAL||Mars 6, Laurel Highlands 0|
|FINAL||Plum 6 Kiski Area 1|
|FINAL||Montour 1, Franklin Regional 0 (AET-2)|
|FINAL||Elizabeth Forward 2, Hampton 0|
|FINAL||Moon 3, Connellsville 0|
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 3A Quarterfinal Round Match Capsules
at Thomas Jefferson
#5 South Fayette at #4 Thomas Jefferson
How they got here: South Fayette rolled to an impressive, 5-0 win vs Penn-Trafford, while Thomas Jefferson had their way against Oakland Catholic, 4-0.
Key Players: Which side will give, as both showed their attacking prowess and ability to shut down strong opponents on Monday night. Sami Maglicco and Natalie Lamenza are the dynamic scoring duo for the Jaguars, combining for 51 goals during the regular season. South Fayette only conceded five goals in section play, which is saying something being that they’re in same section as Moon and Montour (where the top three teams have surrendered a COMBINED 26 goals all season), as defender Anna Fraps has been a key leader out of the back for a program that has really turned heads this season, being the only school to beat Moon in the past two-and-a-half seasons.
#7 Montour at #2 Plum
How they got here: Plum had little resistance against Laurel Highlands, rolling and building confidence in a 6-0 win. Montour, who come out of the ferocious Section 4, were pushed to the limit — and nearly to PKs — by Franklin Regional on Monday, pulling out a 1-0 win in Extra Time. The goal came in the dying moments of the second period of overtime, as Marin Torrens scored on a header with 13 seconds remaining in the run of play.
Key Players/Match-ups: Ava Weleski is the big scoring threat for Plum racking up 24 (including playoffs), while Montour, doesn’t budge either in terms of surrendering goals, having allowed 11 all season, and relies on balanced scoring, with a host of all-Section honorees including Cyanovich sisters (Marlo and Mia) creating havoc in the midfield, under the direction of Head Coach Alex Hobbs, who had success winning a WPIAL title as the boys coach in 2017. This is a quarterfinal contest with two teams that know each other pretty well as it is a rematch of a 3-3 tie Sept. 9 at Plum. Smith scored twice in that game for the Mustangs, and Weleski added a goal and two assists. Junior Grace Bannon and seniors Riley Hall and Caitlyn Sill had goals for the Spartans. It also is a return match from last year’s quarterfinals, a game won by Plum, 2-1 .
#6 Latrobe at #3 Moon
How they got here: Moon shutout Connellsville, 3-0, while Latrobe defeated Moon’s section rival, West Allegheny by a 3-1 score line.
Key Players/Match-ups: This is definitely a match that features two experienced teams that could have easily met in the semifinal round or further in this tournament. The key storyline to keep an eye on is high-scoring Latrobe attack (68 goals this season) which features the Reilly sisters (Reagan has 15 goals, Robin 13) and Annalyse Bauer against Moon’s goalkeeper Serayah Leech, who posted her 50th (!!!!) career shutout in the first round win. Leech, an IUP commit, has been the primary keeper for the Tigers since her freshman season, winning a pair of WPIAL and PIAA titles along the way.
#9 Elizabeth Forward at #1 Mars
How they got here: Top-seeded Mars defeated Kiski Area, 6-1, as Rosie Pellegrino led the way with a hat trick, and Addi Girdwood had a goal and two assists. Elizabeth Forward defeated Mars’ section rival, Hampton, 2-0, with goals coming from Giovanna Ferraro and Brooklyn Baldensperger.
Key Players/Match-ups: Mars doesn’t concede many goals— actually they’ve only conceded ONE goal a, so we’re pretty sure that veteran HC Blair Gerlich will have tactics and personnel in place to shut down EF’s Baldensperger, who is one of the WPIAL’s best scorers with 33 goals in the regular season (plus her goal on Monday night). Mars have always been clinical in/around the box, and rely on balanced scoring, with Girdwood leading the way with 16 total goals this season (including the playoffs)