WPIAL Playoffs Coverage on Pittsburgh Soccer Now is Presented by The Pittsburgh Soccer Summit (January 20, 2024)
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The WPIAL Boys soccer Class 4A Cinderella is still dancing as Norwin pulled off another upset, beating No. 5 Fox Chapel, 2-1, at Hampton in the first game of the double header.
PSN’s John Krysinsky was there, and has the match report.
In addition, North Allegheny (16-1-3) fought off a challenge from section rival Butler, moving on to a 3-2 victory.
It will be North Allegheny’s first appearance in the WPIAL Final since 2017, when they won back-to-back titles, while Norwin (14-5-1) returns to the Final for the first time since 2018, when they lost to Seneca Valley, 5-2.
Boys Class 4A Playoffs
Semifinal Round (October 31, 2023) – Hampton High School
FINAL: North Allegheny 3, Butler 2
— Brandon Rossi (@Ross__Eye) November 1, 2023
Semifinal Match Capsules/Previews
#8 Norwin (13-5-1) vs #5 Fox Chapel (12-2-4)
How they got here: Norwin played Section 1 champs, Upper St Clair to a hard-fought, 1-1 draw to close section play, and own wins against the other playoff-bound teams in their section, and finished with one more win in section competition than Canon-McMillan, but they were pushed them down to a No. 8 overall seed in this classification .That didn’t stop the Knights from pulling off the Round 1 upset of Seneca Valley. Erik Ingram’s Fox Chapel side was eager to get into the playoffs with a fully healthy squad. They survived the gauntlet of Section 1, still finishing behind Seneca Valley, North Allegheny and Butler, despite posting results (pair of draws) against NA and Seneca Valley, but two losses to Butler pushed them down to fourth place. Having to go on the road, the Foxes defeated Section 2 champs, Upper St. Clair on Saturday, 2-1. The Foxes are seeking its first Finals appearance since 2015.
Key Players/Match-ups to Watch: Norwin will be without Head Coach Scott Schuchert, who will have to sit out a suspension after receiving a red card in the upset win vs Seneca Valley.
“These kids are so driven,” Schuchert told Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don’t see any let up. It’s not about me. It’s about (seniors like) Owen (Christopher) and Anthony (Scalise) and what they’ve meant to this program for four years.”
Against Seneca Valley, Christopher, Alex Brown, George Bunovich, and Chase Molinaro scored in the shootout, and Scalise made a key save.
Carson Krushansky (11 goals) and Pablo Linzoain (10 goals) have led the FC attack.
#3 Butler (14-2-3) vs #2 North Allegheny (15-1-3)
How they got here: Prior to his first match at North Allegheny Head Boys Soccer coach, PSN interviewed Manuel Montero prior to Pine-Richland tournament, and it was clear, that he was working through implementing a new system, after the program had been under the direction of long-time coach, Bobby Vosmaer, a former Pittsburgh Spirit player. Although the first season brought some learning curves, that included being left out of the WPIAL playoffs, Montero has the Tigers back in the fold as a legitimate title contender this season. NA’s only loss came in the regular season section finale, to Seneca Valley. On Saturday, North Allegheny had no problem in its first round match — beating Canon McMillan, 6-1. The Golden Tornadoes are in great form too, earning the home playoff on the merit of an impressive 14 match unbeaten streak since losing back-to-back matches at Section 1 front runners Seneca Valley and North Allegheny, and capped off by an impressive 3-0 win vs Peters Township on Saturday in the Quarterfinal Round
Key Players/Match-ups to Watch: These two teams played twice this season — with North Allegheny winning the first go-around, 4-1, then Butler battled back for a 2-2 draw in the regular season rematch that went to extra time. North Allegheny has Dante Accamando, a standout goalkeeper, who certainly impressed PSN coverage team in his appearances at the Pine-Richland tournament in recent seasons, but also leading the way on the scoresheet, Zach Nash (12 goals) and Arnav Patel (8 goals) are also All-WPIAL selections. Butler’s leading goal scorer during the regular season, Cody Lubinsky (12 goals) is the only double-digit scorer in this match, while Andrew Lucas provides leadership on the back line. Both were All-WPIAL selections this season.
WPIAL Final – Saturday, November 4 – 5:45 p.m. @ Highmark Stadium
Quarterfinal Round Results (October 28, 2023)
FINAL: North Allegheny 6, Canon-McMillan 1
FINAL: Fox Chapel 2, Upper St. Clair 1
FINAL: Butler 3, Peters Twp 0
FINAL: Norwin 2, Seneca Valley 2 – AET – Norwin advances in Penalty Kick Shootout