The WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A tournament Semifinal Round saw No. 1 seed North Allegheny finding yet another way to survive a tough match against a Section 2 foe, this time edging Canon-McMillan in Extra Time, 2-1, as All-WPIAL standout Abigail Stager scored the golden goal just 30 seconds into extra period.
In addition, Upper St. Clair and Fox Chapel played in a pretty wild match of their own, with all of the goals coming late in the second half, as Fox Chapel scored five second half goals for the second straight playoff match, winning going away, 5-2.
This will set up an all-Section 1 final between North Allegheny and Fox Chapel, who played twice this season, with the Tigers beating the Foxes, 4-3 and 3-2. North Allegheny will be vying for its fourth district title in five years, while the Foxes are aiming for their first-ever title.
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A Semifinal Round
FINAL: Fox Chapel 5, Upper St. Clair 2
All seven goals were scored in the second half in a wild, wild finish at Moon between FC and USC.
FINAL: North Allegheny 2, Canon-McMillan 1 – Extra Time
The 🐯 are heading to Highmark‼️ Miller 🙌🏻 scored a on a free kick ⚽️ in the first half but CM scored late to force OT. 30 secs into OT, Stager 👏🏻 scores to send the 🐯 to the FINALS‼️ #fearthestripes @NATigerAthletic @Big56Conference @TribLiveHSSN @pghsoccernow @PGVarsityXtra pic.twitter.com/bdFHCFDcbF
— North Allegheny Girls Soccer (@nasoccergirls) October 31, 2023
2nd Half — Upper St. Clair 2, Fox Chapel 2
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A Final (Thursday, November 2, 8 p.m. @Highmark Stadium)
North Allegheny vs Fox Chapel
#1 North Allegheny vs #5 Canon-McMillan
Kickoff: 6 pm at Moon
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 19-0-0 overall, and have only surrendered six goals all season, but were pushed to the limit in the Quarterfinals on Thursday, as Mt. Lebanon pushed them to Extra Time and a penalty kick shootout. 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.
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. On Thursday, 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.”
Key Players/Match-ups: The Tigers brings waves of pressure and have lots of attacking talent with Abigail Stager leading the way, with 30 goals scored this season. NA Junior Rowan Barsotti had an early goal hitting it in the corner, in the 23rd minute of NA’s win on Thursday. With North Allegheny on the front foot vs Mt. Lebanon most of the the night, sending more than 30 shots, with 15 on target, Butera and C-M defense will be tested again.
#6 Fox Chapel vs #2 Upper St Clair
Kickoff: 8 pm at Moon
How they got here: . Fox Chapel were trailing 1-0 to Peters Townshp, on the road, made a few halftime adjustments — and boom — just like that scored five unanswered goals to advance to the Semifinal Round. Upper St. Clair defeated Butler, 2-0, 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.
Key Players: Fox Chapel’s Emily McKee is a threat, having scored 18 times this season. 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.
PIAL Soccer Girls Class 4A Quarterfinal Rounds Scoreboard (Thursday, October 26, 2023)
Canon-McMillan 2, Seneca Valley 1
North Allegheny 1, Mt. Lebanon 1 (North Allegheny advances in Penalty Kick shootout, 3-0)
Upper St. Clair 2, Butler 0
Fox Chapel 5, Peters Township 1