Taking a Closer Look At #WPIAL Girls As Playoff Picture Clears #PghSoccer

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Will the Norwin girls repeat as WPIAL Champs?  The Knights are one of two teams in Class 4A without a loss in 2016.  (Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

With an increase from three to four classifications, much like the boys, WPIAL girls soccer teams in our region have adjusted to the changing landscape with more opportunities for the team’s in the middle tier classes to earn playoff berths.

 

At the top, in the newly created Class 4A, many of the programs that dominated the previous Class AAA are right in the mix of the top classification again in 2016.  And in 1A, most eyes will be on a dominant team (Greensburg Central Catholic) with its standout player, Bailey Cartwright, who recently broke the WPIAL record for goals scored (211).

The WPIAL Playoff seedings/brackets will be released on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and the WPIAL Finals will be played at Highmark Stadium on November 3, 4 and 5.

Here’s a class-by-class look at Girls high school teams as the playoffs near:

CLASS 4A – GIRLS

The two teams in Class 4A without a loss are Canon-McMillan (14-0-1) and defending WPIAL Champs, Norwin (15-0-1) — and they appear on a collision course for the WPIAL final.

Canon-Mac’s only tie was against a Bethel Park team who will miss the playoffs, and Norwin, who rode an undefeated and untied streak all the way to the State semifinals a year ago, also only have a draw against a team with losing record (Hempfield).

I am sure that the WPIAL playoff seedings committee will likely give Norwin the number one seed, with Canon-Mac the second seed, while the other section winners (Pine-Richland and either Fox Chapel/Plum) will battle for the 3, 4 and 5 seeds.  Norwin has continued its dominance from last year, as they’ve outscoring opponents 78-9

Some of the other usual suspects (Upper St. Clair, Penn Trafford, Seneca Valley) remain in the conversation as dark horses and teams that could potentially pull off an upset of Canon-Mac or Norwin.

Upper St. Clair, who were WPIAL runner-up to Norwin in 2015, and PIAA Champs (only team to beat Norwin in the past two seasons), has fallen twice in high scoring games (5-3, 3-2) to Canon-Mac to drop to second place in Section 2.   Fox Chapel beat Canon-Mac on the road in last year’s quarterfinals, before losing to USC in a penalty kick shootout.

(Top FOUR teams from each section qualify for playoffs)

WPIAL Class 4A Section 1 (4A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Pine-Richland 8-2-0 0.800 10-4-2 0.688
Seneca Valley 7-2-1 0.750 10-5-1 0.656
Butler 5-3-2 0.600 9-4-2 0.667
North Hills 5-5-0 0.500 7-6-3 0.531
North Allegheny 3-6-1 0.350 6-8-1 0.433
Shaler 0-10-0 0.000 5-11-0 0.313
WPIAL Class 4A Section 2 (4A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Canon-McMillan 9-0-1 0.950 14-0-1 0.967
Upper St. Clair 6-4-0 0.600 9-5-0 0.643
Peters Township 5-4-0 0.556 9-5-1 0.633
Mt. Lebanon 5-4-0 0.556 7-7-1 0.500
Bethel Park 3-6-1 0.350 4-10-2 0.313
Baldwin 0-10-0 0.000 3-14-1 0.194
WPIAL Class 4A Section 3 (4A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Plum 9-1-0 0.900 11-5-0 0.688
Fox Chapel 8-1-0 0.889 12-3-0 0.800
Allderdice 6-4-0 0.600 6-8-0 0.429
Penn Hills 4-5-0 0.444 7-8-0 0.467
Woodland Hills 1-9-0 0.100 2-14-0 0.125
Brashear 1-9-0 0.100 1-11-0 0.083
WPIAL Class 4A Section 4 (4A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Norwin 9-0-1 0.950 15-0-1 0.969
Penn-Trafford 7-2-1 0.750 13-2-1 0.844
Kiski Area 6-3-1 0.650 7-6-2 0.533
Hempfield 3-5-2 0.400 4-7-2 0.385
Connellsville 2-8-0 0.200 5-9-1 0.367
Latrobe 0-9-1 0.050 1-10-2 0.154

CLASS 3A – GIRLS

This is a classification with a couple of teams that have dropped down from the top tiered class that are making some noise in a grouping with a lot of teams from the previous Class AA.

And from the looks of it, there are a lot of teams, and established programs in contention for WPIAL title.

Moon, a perennial top girls program in older Class AAA, is the only team in the current 3A Classification that remains unbeaten in section play (only loss was when they stepped up to play 4A Seneca Valley – losing 3-0).    They’ve imposed their stamp in Section 4 by beating 2014 Class AA champs, and neighboring Montour (2-0, 2-1) twice this season — and there’s a good chance the two teams could meet again in the postseason.

Defending Class AA champs Mars has been in a dogfight in its own section this year, with newcomers Franklin Regional (a previous Class AAA/highest tier) school that “dropped down”to 3A this year.

Franklin holds the edge on Mars (1-0-1) in the team’s two meetings this year to take the Section 1 title.  The other two sections — 2 & 3 — have not been officially decided yet.  Mt. Pleasant still needs a win or a Belle Vernon loss/tie to clinch section 2, and South Park/Oakland Catholic in section 3 have identical section records, have split games this season,

 

WPIAL Class 3A Section 1 (3A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Franklin Regional 10-1-1 0.875 12-3-1 0.781
Mars 9-1-1 0.864 9-1-2 0.833
Hampton 7-3-1 0.682 9-6-1 0.594
Gateway 6-5-0 0.545 9-7-0 0.563
Knoch 3-7-1 0.318 5-8-3 0.406
Indiana 2-9-0 0.182 6-10-0 0.375
McKeesport 0-11-0 0.000 2-13-0 0.133
WPIAL Class 3A Section 2 (3A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Mount Pleasant 8-1-2 0.818 9-4-2 0.667
Belle Vernon 8-1-2 0.818 9-6-2 0.588
Greensburg Salem 7-4-0 0.636 8-8-1 0.500
Laurel Highlands 6-4-1 0.591 7-7-2 0.500
Elizabeth Forward 5-4-3 0.542 6-7-4 0.471
Uniontown 1-10-0 0.091 3-12-0 0.200
Albert Gallatin 0-11-0 0.000 0-16-0 0.000
WPIAL Class 3A Section 3 (3A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
South Park 12-1-0 0.923 13-1-2 0.875
Oakland Catholic 11-1-0 0.917 13-1-1 0.900
Chartiers Valley 9-4-0 0.692 11-6-0 0.647
Thomas Jefferson 8-5-0 0.615 11-5-0 0.688
Ringgold 5-8-0 0.385 6-9-1 0.406
Obama Academy 3-10-0 0.231 4-11-0 0.267
Trinity 2-10-0 0.167 4-10-0 0.286
West Mifflin 1-12-0 0.077 2-14-0 0.125
WPIAL Class 3A Section 4 (3A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Moon 13-0-0 1.000 16-1-0 0.941
Montour 8-2-3 0.731 11-2-3 0.781
South Fayette 7-5-1 0.577 9-6-1 0.594
Ambridge 6-5-2 0.538 9-5-2 0.625
Central Valley 6-6-1 0.500 6-6-1 0.500
Hopewell 3-9-1 0.269 3-9-1 0.269
Blackhawk 2-10-1 0.192 3-11-1 0.233
West Allegheny 2-10-1 0.192 3-12-1 0.219

CLASS 2A – GIRLS

This is a unique classification with 21 teams, and only three sections — and maybe two teams who have risen to the top – Freeport and Freedom – who could meet at Highmark Stadium.

In addition, looking at the full list of teams in contention in 2A, there are very few that boast Girls WPIAL/PIAA titles, so it will be fascinating to see who can make a run at possibly an unprecedented run in October/November to Highmark Stadium and beyond.

It’s also been a season where Freeport’s soccer teams, both boys and girls, have risen in the ranks of 2A classification after a number of years in the middle of the pack in very competitive section.  The girls team has only lost non-section games against top level teams out of its classification (Karns City and 3-2 to a dominant Class 1A Greensburg Central Catholic).

Another unique situation comes out of this classification, as Freedom (16-0-0) have cruised through the regular season for its second consecutive section title in a season where they merged with another Beaver County school that had the second best team in the section a year ago, New Brighton.  The co-op has brought five players from New Brighton.  As a result, Freedom are a team without a loss or a tie, with only one game decided by one goal (vs Highlands at the Ambridge tournament in early September).

WPIAL Class 2A Section 1 (2A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Freedom 11-0-0 1.000 16-0-0 1.000
Beaver Area 9-2-0 0.818 11-3-0 0.786
Avonworth 6-4-1 0.591 10-5-1 0.656
Quaker Valley 5-5-1 0.500 6-7-1 0.464
South Allegheny 5-6-0 0.455 6-9-0 0.400
Keystone Oaks 1-10-1 0.125 3-12-1 0.219
Steel Valley 0-10-1 0.045 3-11-1 0.233
WPIAL Class 2A Section 2 (2A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Freeport 10-0-1 0.955 11-3-1 0.767
Highlands 7-1-2 0.800 8-2-3 0.731
Burrell 6-4-0 0.600 9-4-0 0.692
Valley 4-5-2 0.455 6-7-2 0.467
Deer Lakes 3-4-3 0.450 5-5-3 0.500
Springdale 1-8-1 0.150 3-10-1 0.250
East Allegheny 1-10-1 0.125 2-13-1 0.156
WPIAL Class 2A Section 3 (2A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Waynesburg Central 10-1-0 0.909 14-2-0 0.875
Yough 7-4-0 0.636 9-6-0 0.600
Derry Area 7-4-1 0.625 10-5-1 0.656
Charleroi 6-5-0 0.545 8-6-0 0.571
Southmoreland 4-5-1 0.450 4-8-1 0.346
McGuffey 2-9-0 0.182 4-10-0 0.286
Brownsville 1-9-0 0.100 2-13-0 0.133

CLASS 1A – GIRLS

All eyes will be on Bailey Cartwright — and Greensburg Central Catholic to see if the Centurians can repeat as WPIAL Champs.  Outside of stepping out of  state, and up in class. in losing to St. Ursula Academy, 3-0, in its opener, GCC have not been challenged in Class 1A with the except, maybe, of 3-1 and 3-0 wins over section rival Shady Side Academy.

Cartwright, who is headed to Notre Dame next year, recently surpassed another former GCC standout, Frannie Crouse, for the WPIAL record (211 goals) with a hat trick in a win over Apollo-Ridge last week on Senior Day.

Cartwright GCC.jpg

CLICK HERE FOR BILL HARTLEP’s FEATURE ON CARTWRIGHT IN PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Last year, GCC were tested in the WPIAL finals by Charleroi in a game that went to overtime.  This year, the other Class 1A contenders could include the other section leaders Bentworth (only unbeaten and untied girls teams in the WPIAL besides Moon and Freedom), Vincention and Our Lady of Sacred Heart (OLSH).

 

WPIAL Class 1A Section 1 (1A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Greensburg Central Catholic 11-0-0 1.000 15-1-0 0.938
Shady Side Academy 8-2-0 0.800 9-3-0 0.750
Riverview 5-4-2 0.545 8-6-2 0.563
Apollo-Ridge 5-5-2 0.500 6-6-2 0.500
Serra Catholic 4-4-2 0.500 8-5-2 0.600
Jeannette 2-9-0 0.182 3-12-0 0.200
St. Joseph 0-11-0 0.000 1-13-0 0.071
WPIAL Class 1A Section 2 (1A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Bentworth 10-0-0 1.000 13-0-0 1.000
Seton-La Salle 9-2-0 0.818 10-4-0 0.714
Chartiers-Houston 7-5-0 0.583 8-9-0 0.471
Bishop Canevin 4-7-0 0.364 5-11-0 0.313
Beth-Center 4-7-0 0.364 4-9-0 0.308
Geibel Catholic 2-8-0 0.200 2-10-0 0.167
Monessen 2-9-0 0.182 4-9-0 0.308
WPIAL Class 1A Section 3 (1A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Vincentian Academy 8-1-1 0.850 11-2-2 0.800
Mohawk 8-2-0 0.800 12-3-0 0.800
Riverside 6-3-1 0.650 8-4-2 0.643
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 3-7-0 0.300 4-12-0 0.250
Neshannock 2-8-0 0.200 4-12-0 0.250
Quigley Catholic 2-8-0 0.200 3-11-1 0.233
WPIAL Class 1A Section 4 (1A)
Team Conf.
Record
Conf. % Overall
Record
Overall %
Our Lady of Sacred Heart 8-2-0 0.800 11-3-0 0.786
Carlynton 7-1-2 0.800 11-3-2 0.750
South Side Beaver 5-5-0 0.500 8-7-1 0.531
Sewickley Academy 3-3-3 0.500 5-8-3 0.406
Eden Christian 2-6-1 0.278 3-10-1 0.250
Ellis School 1-9-0 0.100 1-12-0 0.077

 

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