High school notebook: Boys soccer playoffs resume
The WPIAL boys soccer playoffs resume tonight with Peters Township and Canon-McMillan attempting to remain on a collision course in Class AAA and McGuffey trying to follow up the program’s first postseason victory in Class AA.
Section 5 rivals Peters Township (14-3-2) and Canon-McMillan (15-2-2) will be part of a quarterfinal doubleheader at North Allegheny High School. Each faces a stern test against a section champion.
Canon-McMillan, the defending WPIAL champion, will play Section 3 winner Fox Chapel (16-1) at 6 p.m. Peters Township, which has won three WPIAL championships in the last 10 years, will follow with a match against Section 2 winner Seneca Valley (15-2-1) at 8 p.m.
If Canon-McMillan and Peters Township each win, they will meet for the third time this season in the semifinals Monday at a site to be determined.
Canon-McMillan advanced with a 4-0 first-round road victory Monday over Section 1 champion Norwin. Nick Sodini and Alex Abiak each scored two goals for the Big Macs.
Peters Township played a solid defensive game in the opening round and ousted North Allegheny, 3-0.
McGuffey will be trying to add another chapter to its successful season when it faces a strong South Park (18-1) team at Elizabeth Forward (8 p.m.).
“It’s going to take our best effort,” said McGuffey coach Jim Kita.
McGuffey had an impressive performance in a landmark 2-1 victory over defending WPIAL champion Quaker Valley in the first round. The Highlanders scored two first-half goals, then let their defense take over.
“We played two solid halves,” Kita said. “They scored their only goal on a set piece that nobody was going to stop, not even a Premier League goalkeeper because the shot was high into the goal.
“People see that we have scored 90 goals and immediately ask, ‘What kind of competition did they play?’ We’ve played good teams. We tied Peters Township, we played South Fayette. ... We’ve given up only 18 goals. Everyone overlooks our defense.”
Kita said he has been pleased with the play of sweeper Matt Nardi, who was converted to the position this season.
“He’s been spectacular,” Kita said. “We moved him to sure up our defense and he’s come through.”
South Fayette (15-2-2) also knows a little about defense. The Lions won 1-0 over Mars in a Class AA first-round match. It was South Fayette’s 16th shutout. The Lions have outscored their opponents 66-6.
South Fayette plays its quarterfinal game against Laurel Highlands (15-3) at Baldwin (8 p.m.).
The WPIAL will release the brackets and first-round matchups for its football playoffs Monday night (7 p.m.) at a new conference at the Double Tree Hotel in Green Tree.
The WPIAL Board of Control censured the boys soccer coaches at Brashear and Uniontown, and put each program on probation for one year because of actions during games against local opponents.
Brashear coach Abby Phillips pulled her team off the field less than 15 minutes into a Sept. 24 game at Canon-McMillan and criticized the officials and the Big Macs.
Uniontown coach Eric Dolfi took his team off the field with five minutes remaining in an Oct. 8 game at Waynesburg. Dolfi accused Waynesburg, which was winning 11-1, of rough play.
The WPIAL found the accusations made by Phillips and Dolfi to be baseless. No penalties were levied against Canon-McMillan. Waynesburg must submit a plan on game management to address security and supervision of spectators at all of its home events.