Announcements and Important Events
All season long, soccer teams throughout The Times’ coverage area have been showcasing their talents on the soccer field in order to eclipse their peak performance as the playoffs come around.
The chase for a WPIAL soccer championship begins Monday for nine boys soccer teams around the area.
Quaker Valley was the only boys team to receive a No. 1 seed and rightfully so. The Quakers are the defending Class 2A PIAA champions, and they carried that success into their 2018 season. Led by head coach Andrew Marshall, the Quakers only lost three games all season long and those three happened to be their first three of the season.
Since then, the Quakers have won 15 straight games and have only allowed three goals in that 15-game stretch. They have five double-digit goal scorers, three players with double-digit assists and goalkeeper Dom Lagnese has been strong all season in between the posts.
Although they have been playing at such a high level, Marshall said he believes the Quakers still have another gear or two after they beat Sewickley Academy, 1-0, in their regular-season finale. The Quakers will start their run Monday at home when they host Freeport at 8 p.m.
Freedom and Central Valley will also be looking for a chance to extend their seasons in the Class 2A playoffs. The Bulldogs were winners of eight games this season and had a lot of big wins, but also had a lot of tough losses. They were never able to string more than two wins together. They’ll take on Section 2 runner-up Mt. Pleasant, which won 12 games this season. The two teams will kick off at Pine-Richland at 6 p.m.
Central Valley will be the final 2A school in contention for a WPIAL championship, but the Warriors are matched up with Section 1 winner Keystone Oaks, which only lost one game all season. They will kick off at South Fayette at 6 p.m.
After losing only one game, the West Allegheny Indians received the No. 2 seed in Class 3A after playing in one of the toughest sections in the class. The Indians fell to Blackhawk, 1-0, late in the season, but before that cruised through their competition, with their closest games coming against the teams in their section. They are led by a talented senior class that have been contributors since they were freshmen.
The 2017 WPIAL Player of the Year, Nate Dragisich, leads the group with 31 goals and 14 assists as the Indians have been strong all over the field. They should be a favorite to win the 3A title but will start their run with a home match-up against Greensburg Salem at 8 p.m.
The other two teams from the Times’ coverage area to make the Class 3A playoffs are Blackhawk and Moon. Both teams could make some noise as the playoffs roll on. Moon played a lot of teams tough this season and two of their three losses came against West Allegheny. They’ll travel to Section 4 runner-up South Fayette and will kick-off at 8 p.m.
Blackhawk earned the first playoff win in program history last season, and ever since, the Cougars have been on a tear. With a strong defense, they have won 12 games this season and never lost by more than two goals. With their win over West Allegheny, the Cougars are feeling confident heading into the playoffs and are hoping to add a few more playoff victories to their resume. The Cougars will host Thomas Jefferson with kickoff at 8 p.m.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Sewickley Academy and Riverside are the final three playoff teams from the area, and all three are from the same section. The Chargers were the third-place finisher in the section and will take on Section 2 runner-up Winchester Thurston at Deer Lakes at 6 p.m.
Riverside handed Sewickley Academy its only section loss of the season and also won nine games this year. But, it finished the season with two straight losses. It take on Carlynton at Blackhawk at 6 p.m.
Sewickley Academy capped off its regular season with a 1-0 loss to Quaker Valley. But throughout that game, the Panthers were able to hold off one of the best teams in the area and head coach Nate Richter believes it was a good test of their talent heading into the playoffs. The Panthers head to West Allegheny and will take on Monessen at 6:15 p.m.