Gateway varsity girls soccer team set to turn focus to WPIAL AAA tournament
The Gateway varsity girls soccer team, this year's Section 3-AAA champion, lost only three games during the regular season.
All three were nonsection contests against other section champions in AAA — Penn-Trafford (3-1), Bethel Park (4-0) and Seneca Valley (1-0).
Those three teams went a combined 46-6 during the regular season, and Bethel Park and Seneca Valley, each with only one loss, are two of the top seeds in the WPIAL AAA girls soccer tournament, set to begin this weekend. Peters Township, the fifth section champion, is 16-1 and the top seed for the playoffs.
Gateway, 14-3-1 overall, found out who it would play in the first round when the brackets were released Wednesday afternoon.
The Gators got the No. 5 seed, and will host North Allegheny on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Fifteen teams will be involved in the girls AAA tournament. There will be seven first-round games, and Peters Township receives a bye.
Gateway, which wrapped up the section crown with an emotional 2-1 victory over rival Fox Chapel on Oct. 8, is in the WPIAL playoffs for the fifth straight year.
Penn-Trafford is the No. 4 seed and will host Canon-McMillan on Saturday. If they both win their first-round games, the Warriors and Gators would meet in the quarterfinals next Wednesday.
They faced each other in the first round each of the past three seasons.
Gateway fell to Penn-Trafford, 4-1, in the first round at Penn-Trafford last year.
Despite winning the section title in 2010, the Gators were shipped to Penn-Trafford for a first-round contest. Gateway won that game, 3-1, before falling to Pine-Richland in overtime in the quarterfinals.
Gateway closed out the regular season on senior night Monday, and the Gators dispatched playoff-bound Hampton, 3-1.
The Talbots, the runner-up to Seneca Valley in Section 2-AAA, enter the playoffs with a 10-6-1 overall record.
The shots were even between the teams — Gateway had 13, and Hampton finished with 12.
Senior Carly Seneca had two goals, and she assisted on the third score. She has a team-best 22 goals on the season.
Fellow senior Allison Reed scored a goal for Gateway, and she assisted on one of Seneca's tallies.
Junior goalkeeper Allie Warsaw earned the victory in net.
Seneca, Reed and seniors Alissa Bendorf, Rachel Rettger, Danielle Crable, Danielle Kravits and Rebecca Smith were recognized in a ceremony before the opening kickoff.
Saturday's game against Seneca Valley appeared headed to a scoreless tie, but the Raiders got a goal with four minutes to go in the game for a 1-0 victory.
Seneca Valley outshot Gateway, 12-8.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.