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Westmoreland County's WPIAL boys soccer 1st-round playoff capsules

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 5:06 p.m.
Norwin's Zach Tusay (14) battles Penn-Trafford's Austin Kreutzberger for ball during their game Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Harrison City.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Norwin's Zach Tusay (14) battles Penn-Trafford's Austin Kreutzberger for ball during their game Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Harrison City.
Norwin's Carter Breen heads the ball in front of Penn-Trafford's Noah Schlessinger during their game Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in North Huntington. Norwin won, 2-1.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Norwin's Carter Breen heads the ball in front of Penn-Trafford's Noah Schlessinger during their game Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in North Huntington. Norwin won, 2-1.

Class 4A

First round

No. 8 Penn-Trafford (11-3-2) vs. No. 9 Butler (13-5)

3 p.m. Saturday at Norwin

On the

Winner plays: No. 1 Peters Township (14-0-1)/No. 16 Fox Chapel (9-8) winner Wednesday

Free kicks: Penn-Trafford is poised to make some noise with seven starters back from a quarterfinal run a year ago. Leading scorer Austin Kreutzberger is a Radford recruit and was the Tribune-Review's co-Player of the Year last season. The Warriors did not allow more than three goals in a game all season. ... Butler won its final four regular-season games by a combined score of 19-2. The Golden Tornado have wins against formidable playoff teams Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley. Butler made a run to the WPIAL semifinals three years ago.

First round

No. 3 Franklin Regional (15-2) vs. No. 14 Mt. Lebanon(7-9-1)

3 p.m. Saturday at Franklin Regional

Winner plays: No. 6 Norwin (11-3-4)/No. 11 Canon-McMillan (10-6) winner Wednesday

Free kicks: Franklin Regional used balanced offense and a stingy defense that allowed just 11 goals all season to capture the Section 4 title. The Panthers have lost in the first round in three of the past four years. Dom DiFalco, who also kicks for the football team, is a playmaker for the Panthers. ... Mt. Lebanon finished 3-5-1 down the stretch in a tough Section 2 that includes No. 1 Peters Township. Second-place Upper St. Clair also was sub-.500 (6-9-1). Second-year coach Will Perz played on the Blue Devils' 2002 WPIAL championship team.

First round

No. 6 Norwin (11-3-4) vs. No. 11 Canon-McMillan (10-6)

5 p.m. Saturday at Norwin

On the air:

Winner plays: No. 3 Franklin Regional (15-2)/No. 14 Mt. Lebanon (7-9-1) winner Wednesday

Free kicks: Norwin hopes to benefit from the return of two key players, Matt Federovich and Zach Ullom, a combo coach Scott Schuchert thinks will bolster the lineup. Junior Carter Breen has had a breakthrough season on the wing with 19 goals. The Knights are winless in the playoffs since 2010. ... Canon-McMillan back-loaded its schedule with three good tests against other playoff teams. It beat Class AAA Belle Vernon, 2-1, lost to Class AA Quaker Valley, 7-2 and beat Class AAA South Fayette, 3-0.

Class 3A

First round

No. 8 Belle Vernon (13-4-1) vs. No. 9 Hampton (8-10)

3 p.m. Saturday at Belle Vernon

Winner plays: No. 1 West Allegheny (16-1-1)/No. 16 West Mifflin (8-9) winner Wednesday

Free kicks: Belle Vernon is powered by junior forward Markello Apodiakos, who has 32 goals and 79 career points, program records. The Leopards have 10 shutouts, eight of which came consecutively. They also scored five or more goals 10 times. ... Hampton is one of two 3A playoff teams with a record below .500, joining West Mifflin (8-9). The Talbots lost six seniors, including four all-section players, to graduation, but scraped together another playoff season. They reached the quarterfinals last season.

Class 2A

First round

No. 3 Mt. Pleasant (14-2) vs. No. 14 Elizabeth Forward (8-9-1)

1 p.m. Saturday a t Norwin

On the air:

Winner plays: No. 6 Charleroi (15-4)/No. 11 Central Valley (8-7-2) winner Wednesday

Free kicks: Mt. Pleasant strung together 12 consecutive wins to end the regular season, outscoring those opponents 47-3. The fast-paced Vikings have nine shutouts. Their section is not considered the strongest in Class AA. Junior goalkeeper Shane Piper has been strong. ... Elizabeth Forward is led by forward Zach Lewis. While the team has stayed with better teams, it has struggled offensively, getting shut out seven times.

Class A

First round

No. 5 Greensburg Central Catholic (13-3-1) vs. No. 12 Chartiers-Houston (9-9)

1 p.m. Saturday at Peters Township

Winner plays: No. 4 Winchester Thurston (14-1)/No. 12 Monessen (11-7) winner Wednesday

Free kicks: Greensburg Central Catholic finished second in Section 2 behind No. 4 seed Winchester Thurston, which could await in the second round. The Centurions have eight shutout wins and rely on the quickness and scoring ability of junior forward Luke Mort. GCC was the No. 2 seed last year but lost to Freedom in the quarterfinals. ... Chartiers-Houston lacks momentum heading into the postseason. The Buccaneers lost three of their final four games, managing just three goals in the process.

— Bill Beckner Jr.

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