Taking A Closer Look at #WPIAL Boys Soccer As Regular Season Winds Down #PghSoccer

The WPIAL High School Soccer regular season is entering the final week, and believe it or not, many teams have already clinched playoff spots — and many others are getting very close.

With the new, four classification system, we’ve seen few surprises, particularly in the top tier classes 4A and 3A.

In the top two classes, 15 of the 16 playoff spots have already been clinched.   While in the bottom two classes (1A and 2A), there are more spots still up for grabs.

Here are a few of my observations and notes from each Classification:

CLASS 4A – BOYS

Allderdice is rolling into the postseason for the second consecutive season on the verge of clinching a section championship, in a section with perennial top soccer programs like Central Catholic, Fox Chapel and a resurgent Plum.   Hopefully the WPIAL selection committee will give them the due respect and a high seeding this season.  Last season, they were initially seeded to play a first-round road game at third place Section 2 Peters Township.  The committee eventually corrected this mistake, and hopefully this year, teams will be seeded accordingly this year without any controversy.

dice
Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Here’s a nice write-up in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the Dragons.

Speaking of Section 2, not much has changed in that the same three teams sit in the top spots — except that this season defending Class 3A WPIAL Champs, Canon-McMillan are behind Upper St. Clair and Peters.  All three post impressive records, but with USC and Peters playing to a 0-0 draw last Thursday, Peters can overtake USC in the standings if they can complete a sweep of its final two games against Canon-Mac (Thurs), then Mt. Lebanon (Sat).

Seneca Valley (12-0-1, 10-0-1), 2015 WPIAL semifinalist and PIAA finalist, remain the only team remaining in Class 4A without a loss, and can likely wrap up the top seeding in the WPIAL 4A tournament if they can remain unbeaten.  Seneca’s one draw was against section rival North Allegheny, but they won the return match later in the season, 2-0.

CLASS 3A – BOYS

With the new classifications, this grouping of schools includes most of the top teams from previous WPIAL-AA classification, as all section leaders (Mars, Montour, Belle Vernon and Thomas Jefferson) were in the 2A WPIAL playoffs a year ago.

A few teams that dropped down from the previous set-up’s top tier, have fared much better after dropping down away from the top division, and now in the current 3A set-up.

These teams include Moon, Hampton, Chartiers Valley and Gateway — who all are playoff bound, most for the first time in a number of years.

Last season’s 2A champs, South Fayette, who have a younger team in 2016, have dropped to fourth place in its section (4), but still have clinched a playoff spot.

CLASS 2A – BOYS

In years past, South Park were the class of the 2A rankings most years, and once again, even after graduating a whopping 16 seniors, the Eagles appear to be the team to beat.

Early in the season, the Eagles lost to Mt. Pleasant in a non-section match, then tied upstart City School team Obama Academy, but since have been on a tear, winning nine straight games by a margin of 42-6, including the rematch with Obama Academy, 5-2.

Another perennial WPIAL title contender, Quaker Valley (11-2-1, 9-0), coached by former Pittsburgh Riverhounds defender Andrew Marshall, remain another mainstay in Class 2A, along with Shady Side Academy (9-1-1).  However, Freeport (11-1-1, 9-0-1) and Waynesburg Central (11-1, 9-1) are rather surprising section leaders this season.

CLASS 1A – BOYS

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In this case we’re referring to a few teams that have been regular top teams in the lowest tier of WPIAL Boys soccer — defending PIAA champs Sewickley Academy, defending champs, Seton LaSalle and Greensburg Central Catholic all lead their sections respectively.

But, it looks like the move to Cranberry is finally paying dividends for another parochial school — Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. After many years of fielding sub-par teams near the bottom of the standings in Class A (I would know since I coached NC when in Troy Hill in 2007 & 2008) the Trojans, led by Head Coach Jordan Weigand, have turned the corner, to the tune of a 13-2-1 overall record, and 9-0-1 to rise to first place in Section 3 ahead of two programs usually near the top of Class A (Aquinas Academy and Springdale).

There are still six playoff spots up for grabs in Class 1A, as the final week will have a number of games that will dictate who will advance into the playoffs.

The WPIAL playoff brackets will be revealed a week from Wednesday — on October 19, with first-round games starting on October 22.  The WPIAL Finals will be played at Highmark Stadium, November 3-5.

I will take a closer look at the WPIAL Girls soccer picture in the next few days.

Below, you can find the Boys Soccer standings for each of the sections in the four classifications courtesy of MSA Sports

WPIAL BOYS SOCCER STANDINGS 

(Top FOUR teams from each section qualify for playoffs)

# = Clinched Section Title
* = Clinched Playoff Berth
x = Eliminated From Playoff Chase

{15 of a Possible 16 Class 4-A Teams Have Clinched}

WPIAL CLASS 4A SECTION 1

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Seneca Valley

8-0-1

12-0-1

*-North Allegheny

5-1-3

9-2-4

*-Pine-Richland

3-4-2

8-5-3

*-North Hills

3-5-1

6-6-1

x-Butler

1-5-3

5-5-4

x-Shaler

1-6-2

5-8-2

 

WPIAL CLASS 4A SECTION 2

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-Upper St. Clair

7-1-1

9-3-1

*-Peters Township

6-1-1

9-1-3

*-Canon-McMillan

5-4-0

9-5-0

Bethel Park

3-6-0

4-9-1

Mount Lebanon

2-5-1

3-10-2

x-Baldwin

1-7-1

1-13-1

 

WPIAL CLASS 4A SECTION 3

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-Allderdice

9-0-1

11-1-1

*-Plum

8-1-2

8-2-3

*-Fox Chapel

6-4-0

7-6-0

*-Pittsburgh Central Catholic

5-4-1

5-6-2

x-Brashear

3-7-0

3-9-0

x-Penn Hills

2-8-0

4-10-0

x-Woodland Hills

0-9-0

1-11-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 4A SECTION 4

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-Penn-Trafford

10-1-0

12-1-0

*-Norwin

8-1-1

11-3-1

*-Franklin Regional

6-4-0

7-6-0

*-Kiski Area

5-3-2

6-6-3

x-Connellsville

3-7-0

6-9-0

x-Hempfield

1-7-1

2-9-1

x-Latrobe

0-10-0

3-11-0

 

{15 of a Possible 16 Class 3-A Teams Have Clinched}

WPIAL CLASS 3A SECTION 1

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Mars

10-0-1

12-1-1

*-Hampton

6-2-2

8-3-3

*-Greensburg-Salem

6-3-2

8-4-2

*-Knoch

5-3-2

6-7-2

x-Indiana

2-6-2

2-8-3

x-Highlands

2-7-1

2-11-1

x-Armstrong

0-10-0

0-12-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 3A SECTION 2

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Montour

8-1-0

11-2-1

*-Moon

6-3-0

10-5-0

*-West Allegheny

4-3-2

6-7-4

Ambridge

3-4-1

8-6-1

Blackhawk

3-5-1

5-7-2

x-Hopewell

0-8-0

3-10-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 3A SECTION 3

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Belle Vernon

8-1-0

11-2-0

*-Laurel Highlands

6-2-0

10-4-1

*-Ringgold

6-2-0

7-6-0

*-Trinity

4-5-0

5-8-0

x-Albert Gallatin

1-8-0

3-9-1

x-Uniontown

1-8-0

2-12-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 3A SECTION 4

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Thomas Jefferson

8-1-0

13-1-0

*-Chartiers Valley

7-2-0

10-4-0

*-Gateway

5-4-0

9-5-0

*-South Fayette

5-4-0

6-8-1

x-West Mifflin

2-7-0

3-10-2

x-McKeesport

0-9-0

0-13-0

 

{12 of a Possible 16 Class 2-A Teams Have Clinched}

WPIAL CLASS 2A SECTION 1

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-South Park

8-0-1

11-1-1

*-Elizabeth Forward

7-2-1

10-3-2

*-Pittsburgh Obama Academy

6-1-2

8-1-2

East Allegheny

4-6-0

5-8-0

Keystone Oaks

3-6-1

6-7-1

South Allegheny

1-7-1

3-7-2

Steel Valley

1-8-0

1-12-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 2A SECTION 2

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-Freeport

9-0-1

11-1-1

*-Shady Side Academy

9-1-1

9-1-1

*-Deer Lakes

7-3-0

8-3-0

Mount Pleasant

4-6-0

5-7-0

Burrell

3-6-0

4-7-0

Valley

2-8-0

2-10-0

x-Derry

0-10-0

1-11-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 2A SECTION 3

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Waynesburg

9-1-0

11-1-0

*-Charleroi

7-4-0

10-5-0

Yough

6-4-0

6-6-0

Brownsville

5-4-1

7-6-1

Southmoreland

5-5-0

6-7-0

x-McGuffey

3-7-1

3-8-1

x-Washington

           0-10-0

0-14-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 2A SECTION 4

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Quaker Valley

9-0-0

11-2-1

*-Central Valley

7-2-0

9-4-1

*-Riverside

4-4-1

6-6-2

*-Beaver

4-4-1

6-7-1

x-New Brighton

2-7-0

2-12-0

x-South Side Beaver

0-9-0

2-12-0

 

{9 of a Possible 16 Class 1-A Teams Have Clinched}

WPIAL CLASS 1A SECTION 1

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-Sewickley Academy

10-0-0

11-3-0

*-Freedom

8-1-0

9-3-1

*-Quigley Catholic

7-3-0

10-3-0

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

4-6-0

4-7-0

Neshannock

3-7-0

5-9-0

Beaver County Christian

3-8-0

5-9-0

x-Mohawk

0-10-0

0-14-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 1A SECTION 2

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-Greensburg Central Catholic

9-1-0

12-1-0

*-St. Joseph

9-2-0

13-2-0

Serra Catholic

5-4-1

6-6-2

Winchester Thurston

5-5-1

5-8-2

Trinity Christian

5-5-0

6-6-0

x-Jeannette

1-8-0

1-11-0

x-Geibel Catholic

0-9-0

1-10-0

 

WPIAL CLASS 1A SECTION 3

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

#-Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic

11-0-1

13-2-1

Aquinas Academy

7-4-0

7-5-0

Springdale

7-5-0

8-5-0

Riverview

6-5-1

7-5-1

Eden Christian

6-5-0

8-5-0

Vincentian Academy

5-6-1

6-7-1

x-Avonworth

2-9-1

3-10-1

x-Carlynton

0-10-2

1-12-2

 

WPIAL CLASS 1A SECTION 4

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

*-Seton-LaSalle

12-0-0

15-0-0

*-Bentworth

10-1-1

12-2-1

*-Brentwood

7-4-1

8-4-1

Bishop Canevin

5-7-0

6-8-0

Monessen

4-8-0

5-8-0

Chartiers-Houston

4-8-0

5-11-0

Beth-Center

3-9-0

3-10-1

x-California

2-10-0

2-11-0

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