High school roundup: Knoch boys advance in soccer playoffs
Knoch boys soccer coach Malcolm Cook wouldn't describe his team's performance on Saturday as pretty, but he did call it effective.
After a sluggish start, the Knights regrouped and defeated Beaver, 1-0, in a WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round game at Seneca Valley.
Junior forward Brandon Vargo scored for Knoch (9-8-1) near the end of the first half. Senior defender Alex Slomer was moved to central midfielder late in the opening half and set up Vargo's score.
Knoch senior Andy Fritz made five saves in the shutout of Beaver (7-9-1).
“A win's a win,” Cook said. “Honestly, we were bad in the first half, but we changed things up in the second, made some adjustments, and the team responded.”
Knoch advanced to face top-seeded South Park (18-0) in the first round at 6 p.m. Monday at Bethel Park. Last season, South Park finished third in the WPIAL.
Quaker Valley 3, Highlands 0 — No. 9 Highlands (15-4) entered the WPIAL Class AA first-round playoff game with a school record for wins in a single season but couldn't add to that total against No. 8 Quaker Valley (16-2-1) at Hopewell.
Central Valley 6, Knoch 0 — No. 3 Central Valley (15-0-2) scored less than a minute into the game and rolled past No. 14 Knoch (11-8) in WPIAL Class AA first-round play.
Trailing, 3-0, with about 20 minutes left, Knoch tried to push its players forward to generate offense, but the strategy allowed host Central Valley to pad its lead.
Sewickley Academy 5, Riverview 0 — No. 15 Riverview (9-9-1) trailed only 1-0 at halftime but struggled to produce offense and fell to No. 2 Sewickley Academy (18-0-1) in a WPIAL Class A first-round game at Moon. Sewickley Academy has allowed only four goals this year.
Seneca Valley 3, Plum 0 — No. 15 Plum (9-7-2), making its first WPIAL playoff appearance since 2002, was shut out at No. 2 Seneca Valley (17-1) in a Class AA first-round game.
Hampton 2, Fox Chapel 0 — No. 8 Fox Chapel (16-3) lost at home to No. 9 Hampton (11-7-1) in a WPIAL Class AAA first-round game. The Foxes' only other losses were to Gateway in Section 3-AAA.