WPIAL BOYS CLASS AAA SOCCER FINAL PREVIEW – Foxes, Big Macs Seeking Elusive Title

Fox Chapel have posted three shutouts in their playoff run to the WPIAL finals.
Fox Chapel have posted three shutouts in their playoff run to the WPIAL finals.

WPIAL Class AAA Boys Final
Canon McMillan vs Fox Chapel
Highmark Stadium
Friday, November 6, 2015
8 p.m. Kickoff
Broadcast: http://www.msasports.net

This will be the first time in well over a decade that neither Peters Township or Upper St. Clair will be in the finals. Instead it will be their section rivals, Canon-Mac and a deep Fox Chapel side.  It will be a slight clash of styles, as Fox Chapel is a strong possession team that could use up to 18 to 20 players per game.  The Big Macs feature one of the best scorers in the state — and will tend to play more direct and bring pressure throughout the game.   It should make for a fun final.

#3 Fox Chapel (17-1-1, 11-1, Section 3-AAA Champs)

In Friday’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – FOXES LOOK TO END 20-YEAR DROUGHT 

WPIAL: Five-time Champions (1964, 1967, 1987, 1991, 1995)

Head Coach – Erik Ingram

How They Got here: def Connellsville 3-0, def Franklin Regional 1-0, def Kiski Area 4-0

Taking note: The Foxes have used up to 18 to 20 players per game this year. They have been a high-scoring team that has played better defensively as the season has gone on. They have not given up a goal in their last five games. Responded with solid campaign in 2015 after losing in first round a year ago, overmatched by eventual WPIAL and PIAA Champs Peters Township 8-0.

Players to watch: Ingram has had the luxury of using three seniors on his back line, led by All-state Selection, Kota Furuhata, along with Elliott Norman and Yardin Solomon. Michael Snowball has been the team’s leading scorer and junior Jung Hong’s been a key player in the team’s talented midfield. Goalie Jakob Dunn came up with big saves in each of the Foxes playoff wins.

#5 Canon-McMillan (16-3, 14-2, Section 5-AAA Champs)

In Friday’s Pittsburgh Tribune Review – CANON-MAC CHASES SECOND WPIAL TITLE

How They Got here: def Bethel Park 2-1, def Penn Trafford 2-1, def Seneca Valley 1-0

WPIAL: Champions (2013)

Taking note: Until losing to Upper St. Clair 4-0, on October 1, the Big Macs were the top-ranked team in WPIAL. Since then, they have struggled a bit, but have pulled out two wins against three tough playoff opponents, and Larry Fingers has his team battle-tested in close, one goal games.

Players to watch: Talk about a prolific scorer, Fox Chapel will have to creep close eye on Senior forward Nick Sodini. Sodini led all Class AAA players with 30 goals. He scored twice against Penn-Trafford and his goal with 12 minutes remaining gave the Big Macs the win against Seneca Valley. Senior goalkeeper Christian Snatchko has eight shutouts this season. Senior midfielder Luke Maher was one of the goal scorers against Bethel Park.
On A Personal Note… 

My son, Jason plays for Fox Chapel, and in an another personal twist of irony, I recruited Larry Fingers from Carlynton High School in 1997 — to come to play at Point Park College when I was the head coach there.   He was part of the 1998 Pioneers’ 12-4 team that made it to the first round of the NAIA National Tournament playoffs before transferring to Slippery Rock University.    Below is the picture of our 1998 team.   

Larry Fingers, front row, fourth from left, played on the 1998 Point Park men's soccer team coached by Pittsburgh Soccer Report's John Krysinsky
Larry Fingers, front row, fourth from left, played on the 1998 Point Park men’s soccer team coached by Pittsburgh Soccer Report’s John Krysinsky

WPIAL AAA Championship Matches (2005-2014)

2014 – Peters Township 5, Upper St. Clair 1
2013 – Peters Township 1, Upper St. Clair 0
2012 – Canon-McMillan 1, Upper St. Clair 0
2011 – Upper St. Clair 2, Peters Township 1
2010 – Peters Township 1, Central Catholic 0 (OT)
2009 – Mt. Lebanon 1, Upper St. Clair 0 (2 OT)
2008 – Peters Township 2, Fox Chapel 0
2007 – Bethel Park 1, Peters Township 0 (OT)
2006 – Bethel Park 2, Peters Township 1 (SO)
2005 – Plum 2, Peters Township 1

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