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.
The question was for the Semifinal Round — will No. 1 Mars be better?
South Fayette emphatically answered that question with a no, defeating Mars in a nailbiter that went the distance, and was decided in a seven-round penalty kick shootout.
PSN’s Mark Goodman was there, and has the full match report from Dormont Stadium.
Meanwhile, a later kickoff, brought the other Section 4 teams together for a third time this season, with neither side able to solve the other through 80 minutes, and another couple periods of Extra Time — and they also went to penalty kicks — which saw Moon prevail.
We have a little more on each match below plus, look for coverage of the Mars-South Fayette match from Dormont Stadium from PSN’s Mark Goodman.
WPIAL Soccer Girls Class 3 Playoffs Schedule & Results
Semifinal Round (October 31, 2023 @Dormont Stadium)
FINAL: Moon 0, Montour 0 (Moon advances, winning Penalty Kick Shootout)
— McPgh (@BobMcPgh) November 1, 2023
Penalty Shootout, Mars-South Fayette, WPIAL 3a Semis
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After 7 rounds of pks, South Fayette wins! They move on to the finals against the winner of Montour-Moon
— Soccer Rabbi (@soccer_rabbi) November 1, 2023
Semifinal Round Preview
6 p.m. #1 Mars vs #5 South Fayette
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. They posted yet another pair of clean sheets in beating Thomas Jefferson and Penn-Trafford in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
When it comes to conceding goals, it is extremely race for Mars to do so — in fact, they’ve just surrendered one this season. ONE goal. In two playoff matches, they’ve shut out both Elizabeth Forward and Laurel Highlands.Sure some of the big names may be gone from teams that won multiple WPIAL and PIAA titles, but Head Coach Blair Gerlich has instilled a winning culture and this is a program that constantly produces outstanding soccer players. Mars have always been clinical in/around the box, and rely on balanced scoring, with Addi Girdwood leading the way with 16 total goals this season (including the playoffs). In the first round win vs Laurel Highlands, Rosie Pellegrino led the way with a hat trick, and Girdwood had a goal and two assists, while Pelligrino scored the lone goal for Mars in the win vs Elizabeth Forward.
8 p.m. #7 Montour vs #3 Moon
Section rivals meet again! Montour and Moon have played twice already, as round one was a 0-0 stalemate in September, then on October 4, they were scoreless until one minute and some change were on the close in the second period of extra time, when Moon’s Lilly Snyder found room to deliver a shot from distance into net for the game-winner.
Back in 2016 and 2017, when Head Coach Bill Pfeifer led Moon to back-to-back WPIAL/PIAA titles, the one school that was always so close to knocking them off was Montour, even one of those seasons, they played four times, losing by a total of four goals. This season, 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. Moon’s goalkeeper Serayah Leech has now posted 51 (!!!!) career shutouts, including the first two rounds of the playoffs. 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.
Final (Saturday, November 4, 1:15 p.m. @HighmarkStadium)
1:15 p.m. Mars/South Fayette winner vs Montour/Moon winner
Quarterfinal Round (October 26, 2023)
Mars 1, Elizabeth Forward 0
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.
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|