Westmoreland girls soccer playoff preview capsules for Saturday’s semifinals
No. 2 Norwin (15-2) vs. No. 3 Peters Township (15-3)
5 p.m. Saturday at Elizabeth Forward
Winner plays: Winner of No. 1 Seneca Valley (14-2)/No. 4 Upper St. Clair (13-3)
Coaches: Lauren Karcher, Norwin; Pat Verab, Peters Township
Players to watch: Lacey Bernick, So., MF, Norwin; Regan LaVigna, Sr., F, Peters Township
Corner kicks: After a bye, Norwin eked past North Allegheny in a foul-plagued quarterfinal, 2-1, as Bernick scored twice. She is one of three Pitt recruits for the Knights. The others are sophomore forward Katelyn Kauffman and junior defender Eva Frankovic. Senior defender Maddy Genicola is a Duquesne recruit. The defending PIAA champion Knights are in the semifinals for the fourth straight season. Sophomore goalkeeper Liz Waszkiewicz made eight saves against North Allegheny, most from close range. ... Peters Township is back in the semifinals for the first time since making the Class 3A final four in 2013. LaVigna, a Youngstown State recruit, and junior Hannah Stuck, a Bucknell recruit, scored second-half goals to help the Indians get past Butler, the team they lost to in last year’s quarterfinals, 2-1. The Indians began the season ranked No. 21 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer. ... The winner advances to the championship game Nov. 2 or 3 at Highmark Stadium and qualifies for the PIAA playoffs.
No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic (12-2) vs. No. 3 Bentworth (16-2)
1 p.m. Saturday at Elizabeth Forward
Winner plays: Winner of No. 1 Freedom (18-1)/No. 5 Shady Side Academy (11-3)
Coaches: Ashley Davis, GCC; Tyler Hamstra, Bentworth
Players to watch: Sam Nemeth, Jr., MF, GCC; Paige Marshale, Jr., F, Bentworth
Corner kicks: GCC, which has 14 goals in two playoff wins, will make its ninth consecutive appearance in the semifinals. The defending champion Centurions are seeking an eighth straight trip to the finals and a sixth title since moving to Class A in 2010. Nemeth had a first-half hat trick in an 8-1 win over No. 7 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals. Brenna Springer, Jessica Nemeth, Sam Felder and Tatum Gretz have been other scoring threats for GCC, which is on a seven-game winning streak. ... Bentworth returns to the semifinals for the second time in three years. The Bearcats lost to Shady Side Academy, 3-1, in the 2016 semis. Marshale netted the winner in the quarterfinals with 9:05 left in overtime as Bentworth edged Bishop Canevin, 3-2. Jocelyn Timlin had a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Vincentian in the first round. ... The winner advances to the championship game Nov. 2 or 3 at Highmark Stadium and qualifies for the PIAA playoffs. The loser will play in the third-place consolation game.
--Bill Beckner Jr.