WEEKLY HS SPOTLIGHT: As Playoffs Near, More Schools Have Realistic WPIAL Title Aspirations

Jamison Beiriger and Central Catholic are among the teams that are chasing a WPIAL title.   (Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Jamison Beiriger and Central Catholic are among the teams that are chasing a WPIAL title. (Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

This is one of the best times of the year if you love soccer and you are from Western Pennsylvania.

The college seasons are winding down, and on the High School side, the WPIAL playoff seedings will be announced on Wednesday.   While I have followed the High School season pretty closely from the boys side in recent years (as a parent and previously as a coach), I can tell you that with both the boys and girls, in most classifications, that this is a rare year where there are no clear cut favorites.

In today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, you’ll find my feature on Central Catholic boys soccer team.  They’re an example of a team that could be very dangerous come playoff time.  For one thing, Central has played everyone they can out of section.  They played Peters, Canon-Mac, Upper St. Clair, Mars — even Kiski School to mixed results. But as their coach, Claudio Morini says, playing the top teams will help, and he feels they’re one of about seven or eight teams that could win the WPIAL this year.

Has parity come to high school soccer in Western PA?

If you look closely, you will still find a lot of the usual suspects along the top of the standings/rankings.  But the difference this year, of the usual suspects, they’ve all shown to be a bit more vulnerable than in the past.   This should make for a very exciting two plus weeks of soccer to decide the WPIAL champions.

We’ll be following closely over the course of the next few weeks. I’ll be posting the links to the playoff brackets here on Pittsburgh Soccer Report when they are announced, and will put together a brief preview.

Should be fun to watch.

Here are key dates:

  • Wednesday, October 21 – Playoff Pairings Announced
  • Saturday, October 24, Monday, October 25, Tuesday, October 26 – Play-in / First Round Games
  • Wednesday, October 27-Saturday, October 31 – Quarterfinals
  • Monday-Tuesday, November 2-3 – Semifinals 
  • Thursday, November 4 – Consolation / PIAA Play-In Games 
  • Friday-Saturday, November 6-7 – WPIAL Championship Games (Highmark Stadium) 
  • Nov. 10 – 22  PIAA Playoffs (Finals – Hershey, PA – Nov. 21-22)  
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