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Westmoreland WPIAL boys soccer playoff preview capsules for Oct. 22, 2018

November 8, 2018

Boys soccer

Class 4A

No. 11 Latrobe (10-6-1) vs. No. 6 Butler (10-4-2)

7 p.m. Monday at Butler

Winner plays: No. 3 Upper St. Clair (11-3-2)

Coaches: Tom Kennedy, Latrobe; Troy Mohney, Butler

Players to watch: Marshal Kalning, Sr., MF, Latrobe; Tate Mohney, Sr., F, Butler

Corner kicks: After losing four straight games, all via shutout, Latrobe went 5-0-1 to close the regular season. The Wildcats last made the playoffs in 2014. ... Butler did not win more than three games in a row but also did not lose by more than two goals, staying close with everyone. It owns a 2-1 win over No. 1 Seneca Valley.

Class 3A

First round

No. 15 Greensburg Salem (8-8) vs. No. 2 West Allegheny (16-1)

8 p.m. Monday at West Allegheny

Winner plays: Winner of No. 7 Belle Vernon (12-5-1)/No. 10 Kiski Area (11-6-1)

Coaches: Sam Lauris, Greensburg Salem; Kevin Amos, West Allegheny

Players to watch: Sage Parsley, Sr., GK, Greensburg Salem; Nathan Dragisich, Sr., F, West Allegheny.

Corner kicks: Greensburg Salem has not won a playoff game in more than two decades. Ethan Turnbull had a four-goal game recently for the Golden Lions. ... High-scoring and fast-paced West Allegheny was the WPIAL runner-up last season and reached the state quarterfinals. Dragisich (31 goals) is one of the top players in the classification. He is a Duquesne recruit.

No. 10 Kiski Area (11-6-1) vs. No. 7 Belle Vernon (12-5-1)

8 p.m. Monday at Belle Vernon

Winner plays: Winner of No. 1 West Allegheny (16-1)/No. 15 Greensburg Salem (8-8)

Coaches: Sean Arnold, Kiski Area; Rob Miele, Belle Vernon

Players to watch: Aaron Witt, Fr., MF, Kiski Area; Markello Apodiakos, Sr., F, Belle Vernon

Corner kicks: Kiski Area didn’t make the playoffs last year but returned powered by a youthful lineup. The Cavaliers are on a five-game unbeaten streak. ... Belle Vernon will make its 16th WPIAL playoff appearance. The Leopards reached the quarterfinals last year and lost to finalist West Allegheny. Apodiakos, who has 27 goals, is the team’s all-time leading scorer.

No. 1 Franklin Regional (14-0-1) vs. No. 16 Obama (9-7-2)

8 p.m. Monday at Franklin Regional

Winner plays: Winner of No. 8 Hampton (10-7)/No. 9 Laurel Highlands (10-6-1)

Coaches: Rand Hudson, Franklin Regional; Pantelis Papazekos, Obama

Players to watch: Anthony DiFalco, Fr., F, Franklin Regional; Alex Woodworth, Jr., D, Obama

Corner kicks: Franklin Regional, down from Class 4A, is the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL playoffs for the first time as the Panthers chase their first championship. They allowed just three goals all season en route to a section title. ... Obama bounced back from a midseason three-game losing streak to go 5-2-2 the rest of the way. It tied No. 5 seed Blackhawk, 1-1.

Class 2A

First round

No. 8 Mt. Pleasant (12-4) vs. No. 9 Freedom (8-8)

6 p.m. Monday at Pine-Richland

Winner plays: Winner of No. 1 Quaker Valley (15-3)/No. 16 Freeport (8-10)

Coaches: Floyd Snyder, Mt. Pleasant; Colin Williams, Freedom

Players to watch: Sam Napper, Sr., F, Mt. Pleasant; Nick DiNardo, Sr., GK, Freedom

Corner kicks: Mt. Pleasant is led by Napper, one of the more talented scorers in Class 2A. The Vikings, who ended the regular season with three straight shutouts, made the quarterfinals last year. ... Freedom was the No. 2 seed in Class A last year when it was upset by Springdale in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs have lost five of their past six games.

No. 12 Southmoreland (8-9) vs. No. 5 South Park (11-4-1)

6 p.m. Monday at Belle Vernon

Winner plays: Winner of No. 4 Charleroi (16-0)/No. 13 Elizabeth Forward (8-9)

Coaches: Jeremy Niemiec, Southmoreland; Jonathan Cantwell, South Park

Players to watch: Noah Kinter, Jr., F, Southmoreland; Arion Washington, Sr., MF, South Park

Corner kicks: Southmoreland is back in the WPIAL playoffs after a two-year absence. Kinter and senior Brett Glowacki are the team’s top scorers. ... Section 1 runner-up South Park recovered nicely and made the postseason after having its 29-game section winning streak snapped by No. 3 Keystone Oaks in early September.

Class A

First round

No. 13 Monessen (8-4-2) vs. No. 4 Sewickley Academy (12-4)

6:15 p.m. Monday at West Allegheny

Winner plays: Winner of No. 5 Springdale (12-2-1)/Bishop Canevin (9-5-2)

Coaches: Sam Perry, Monessen; Natham Richter, Sewickley Academy

Players to watch: Cam Frolo, Jr., F, Monessen; Alex Gordon, Sr., F, Sewickley Academy

Corner kicks: Monessen has made the playoffs 12 times in Perry’s 14 seasons. Senior Nate Lynch is a third-year goalkeeper for the Greyhounds. Cory Fleming and Tyler Caterino also are scoring threats. ... Richter took over for James Boone, who won five PIAA titles in six years with the Panthers. The Section 1 champion Panthers have posted 11 shutouts.

No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic (14-1) vs. No. 15 Vincentian (5-8)

6 p.m. Monday at Franklin Regional

Winner plays: Winner of No. 7 Brentwood (9-2-2)/No. 10 Serra Catholic (10-6)

Coaches: Tyler Solis, GCC; Phil Canzian, Vincentian

Players to watch: Luke Mort, Sr., F, GCC; Mike Schneidz, Jr., MF, Vincentian

Corner kicks: GCC takes a 12-game winning streak into the postseason as they try to get past the semifinals for the first time since 2012. ... Vincentian returns to the playoffs after a two-year absence. The Royals are one of two teams in the Class A bracket with a losing record.

--Bill Beckner Jr.

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