The WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A tournament finally kicked off on Thursday, with some very interesting results and exciting matches.
When the smoke cleared, No. 1 North Allegheny escaped a tough challenge from No. 8 seed Mt. Lebanon, winning the match in a penalty kick shootout. Also advancing were two lower seeds, Fox Chapel defeating Peters Township, 5-1 in the 3/6 match-up, No. 5 Canon-McMillan pulled the slight upset over No. 4 Seneca Valley, Upper St. Clair defeated Butler, 2-0.
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A Quarterfinal Rounds Scoreboard (Thursday, October 26, 2023)
Canon-McMillan 2, Seneca Valley 1
The Big Macs took the trip way up I79, and pulled off a bit of an upset win, as Lilly Bane and Rachel Tomley scored to earn the quarterfinal round victory.
“Unbelievable effort from all players,” Canon-Mac Head Coach Matt Fonagy told Pittsburgh Soccer Now.
“Fantastic effort to our defenders and goalkeeper Cianna Butera, for staying strong all game against a very talented Seneca Valley team.”
Final from NexTier Stadium.
Your LADY MACS pull off the WIN against Seneca Valley 2-1 to move into the 4A WPIAL Semi-final on Monday 👏🏼 Unbelievable effort from the girls.@TribLiveHSSN @pghsoccernow @PGVarsityXtra @Big56Conference @SHAlmanacSports #OneFamilyOneGoal pic.twitter.com/lZUYjuZ2bQ
— CM Lady Mac Soccer (@CMLadyMacSoccer) October 27, 2023
North Allegheny 1, Mt. Lebanon 1 (North Allegheny advances in Penalty Kick shootout, 3-0)
(From North Allegheny Sports Network updates/broadcast)
The North Allegheny girls’ soccer team stayed perfect — but by the skin of its Tiger teeth on Thursday night.
NA Junior Rowan Barsotti had an early goal hitting it in the corner, in the 23rd minute.
The Blue Devils leveled the match when junior Tillie Crown chipped a ball from 12 yards away that fluttered towards NA senior Natalie Rak. The goalie attempted to punch the ball into the air, but it rolled off her hand and into the back of the net.
The Tigers controlled flow of play through the second half, ending with a late golden chance, with the team’s leading scorer, Abigail Stager banging a shot off the bar, then with the clock running down, she also had a nearside opportunity from short yardage but was stopped by Mt. Lebanon goalie Clare Cramer.
Three NA seniors, Ally Ruiz, Jayden Coy and Libby Earley converted on the first three kicks in the shootout, and it was enough, after the Blue Devils failed to convert on their chances.
North Allegheny tallied 39 shots with 15 on goal, while Mt. Lebanon only mustered six shots, two being on goal.
Upper St. Clair 2, Butler 0
Goals from Upper St. Clair came from Helen Walker in the first half, with Serra Dupre adding a second half laser from 20 yards to lead the Panthers.
Fox Chapel 5, Peters Township 1
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A Semifinal Round (Monday, October 30, 2023)
#1 North Allegheny vs #5 Canon-Mac
#2 Upper St. Clair vs #6 Fox Chapel
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A Final (@Highmark Stadium – TBA)
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A Quarterfinal Round Match Capsules
at North Allegheny
#1 North Allegheny vs #8 Mt. Lebanon
How they got here: The beat goes on for the ‘U’ — as North Allegheny is in search of its fourth WPIAL title in five years. The Tigers are a perfect 18-0-0 overall, and have only surrendered six goals all season. Mt. Lebanon have been right in the mix in Section 2, but ended up in fourth place, with a 10-6-2 overall record.
Key Players: The Tigers brings waves of pressure and have lots of attacking talent with Abigail Stager leading the way, with 30 goals scored this season. Casey Gorman is Mt. Lebanon’s leading scorer, with 10 goals this season.
at Upper St. Clair
#2 Upper St Clair vs #7 Butler
How they got here: For the first time since 2016, Upper St Clair (15-0-1) returned to the top of the standings in always competitive Section 2, with an outstanding season, even avenging its lone loss to section rival Peters Twp in the return match as they’ve won eight matches in a row. Butler were last in the WPIAL Finals in 2020, but always seem to field a strong team that gives every opponent fits, and are unbeaten (3-0-1) in their last four matches.
Key Players: In last week’s edition of Kids on the Pitch Podcast, Ed Rosensteel spoke about Upper St. Clair’s talent, with numerous underclassman contributing along with solid senior leadership, the Panthers could be building something special, with Sierra Dupre leading the way generating 26 goals. Leah Weiland is the Golden Tornadoes leading scorer with 11 goals, while Leah Deal contributed 10 scores.
7:00pm at Peters Twp
#6 Fox Chapel at #3 Peters Township
How they got here: A couple years ago, the Foxes nearly pulled off the impossible — reaching the WPIAL finals without scoring a goal in the run of play thanks to strong defensive play. This year’s squad posted a 10-4-2 mark in the same section as North Allegheny and Seneca Valley, as 10 of the 16 goals they surrendered this season came against those two section rivals. Peters Township followed up another WPIAL Finals appearance with a strong campaign in 2023, but fell just short of a section title, as they hit a few bumps late in the season tying Mt. Lebanon and losing to Upper St. Clair. Speaking of stingy defending, PT have surrendered just five goals all season — and three of those coming in those two late season hiccups.
Key Players: Camryn Klein and Julia Spergel have led the way for PT, combining for 28 goals, while Fox Chapel’s Emily McKee is a threat, having scored 18 times this season.
7:00pm at Seneca Valley
#4 Seneca Valley vs #5 Canon-McMillan
How they got here: Seneca Valley couldn’t quite pull off winning the section title, but they were a very close nuisance to North Allegheny during the regular season, finishing up with just two losses to NA, ending with a 13-2-1 mark overall. Led by Head Coach Matt Fonagy, who also coached Beadling SC’s senior squad this summer, guided Canon-Mac back to the playoffs with an 8-6-2 overall record.
Key Players: Ashlee Libby led the Raiders with 18 goals this season, and Karly Majeski added 10 goals, while Canon-McMillan goalkeeper Cianna Butera has been strong under pressure and made a lot of big saves this season, which bodes well if any of these matches come down to a PK shootout.