Westmoreland boys soccer playoff preview capsules for Thursday’s quarterfinals
No. 2 Norwin (15-2-1) vs. No. 7 Peters Township (11-7)
8 p.m. Thursday at Norwin
Winner plays: Winner of No. 3 Upper St. Clair (11-3-2)/No. 6 Butler (11-4-2)
Coaches: Scott Schuchert, Norwin; Robert Dyer, Peters Township
Players to watch: Carter Breen, Sr., F, Norwin; Christian Verner, Sr., F, Peters Township
Corner kicks: Norwin returns to action after a first-round bye. The Knights have not won their opening playoff game since 2010. That includes a streak of seven consecutive first-round defeats. Breen, who has 31 goals, is one of the most dynamic scorers in 4A. ... Peters Township reached the title game last year and lost to North Allegheny, which it defeated in this year’s first round, 1-0. Verner scored and keeper Jackson Basar made eight saves.
No. 1 Franklin Regional (15-0-1) vs. No. 8 Hampton (11-7)
6 p.m. Thursday at Norwin
Winner plays: Winner of No. 4 Ringgold (13-6)/No. 12 Thomas Jefferson (14-4-1)
Coaches: Rand Hudson, Franklin Regional; Matt McAwley, Hampton
Players to watch: Isaac Gamwo, So., MF, Franklin Regional; Corey Scherer, So., F, Hampton
Corner kicks: Franklin Regional overcame a slow start to down Obama Academy, 4-0, in the first round for its 13th shutout of the season. The stingy Panthers have allowed three goals. Freshman Anthony DiFalco scored one goal and assisted on another in the playoff opener. ... Scherer scored three times in the second half for Hampton in a 4-0 win over Laurel Highlands in the first round. Luke Milan also had a goal for the Talbots, who broke a four-game losing streak.
No. 8 Mt. Pleasant (13-4) vs. No. 1 Quaker Valley (16-3)
6 p.m. Thursday at Seneca Valley
Winner plays: Winner of No. 4 Charleroi (17-0)/No. 5 South Park (12-4-1)
Coaches: Floyd Snyder, Mt. Pleasant; Andrew Marshall, Quaker Valley
Players to watch: Brad Tait, Sr., MF, Mt. Pleasant; Franky Fernandez, Jr. F, Quaker Valley
Corner kicks: Mt. Pleasant found its way into the second round for the second year in a row with a 3-1 win over No. 9 Freedom. Tait had two goals and senior Sam Napper added one for the Vikings. ... Quaker Valley, the WPIAL runner-up last season, have 12 shutouts and only allowed four goals since Sept. 5. Fernandez and Will Andrews each scored twice in a 6-1 win over Freeport to open the playoffs. Dom Reiter had three assists.
No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic (15-1) vs. No. 7 Brentwood (10-2-2)
6 p.m. Thursday at Upper St. Clair
Winner plays: Winner of No. 3 Seton La Salle (15-3)/No. 6 Winchester Thurston (11-5)
Coaches: Tyler Solis, GCC; Ron DiNardo, Brentwood
Players to watch: Nate Ward, Jr. F, GCC; Heran Pradhan, So., MF, Brentwood
Corner kicks: GCC moved into the second round for the fifth straight time with its 13th straight victory, 8-0, over Vincentian. Ward had a hat trick before the 16-minute mark, and Pitt recruit Luke Mort added two goals. Rico Ciccarelli had a goal and two assists. ... Pradhan had two goals and Ben Betz and Shashak Gunung had one apiece for Brentwood in its opener, a 4-2 win over Serra Catholic. Brentwood finished second in Section 4 behind No. 3 Seton La Salle. GCC could see section rival Winchester Thurston in the next round.
-- Bill Beckner Jr.