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Many story lines in soccer pairings

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Rich Downer/For The Valley Independent
Ringgold boys' soccer coach Frank Perez.
Rich Downer/For The Valley Independent
Belle Vernon Area girls' soccer coach Paul Sasko is retiring after 11 years guiding the program.

The WPIAL released its 2013 soccer playoff brackets Wednesday, and there is a lot of local flavor in the pairings for the “second season.”

Eight area teams — five on the girls' side and three on the boys' side — make up the local contingent for this year's postseason.

For the girls, three rematches will take place.

In AA, Belle Vernon Area (13-3-2) finished second in Section 4 AA and drew the seventh seed.

The Lady Leps host the 10th-seeded South Fayette Lady Lions (10-7-1) Saturday at 4 p.m.

At the South Fayette Kickoff tournament over Labor Day weekend, BVA downed the hosts 1-0.

“It is always a very competitive and tight game with them,” said BVA coach Paul Sasko, who has his team in the playoffs for the ninth straight year. “I was actually thinking that we would probably get them.”

Surprisingly, BVA is ranked behind sixth-seeded Yough (14-4), who it shut out last week.

The Section 1 AA champion Lady Cougars will face a familiar foe when they host Elizabeth Forward (11-3-4) Saturday at 1 p.m.

EF, the third-place team in Section 4 AA, lost at Yough last year in the playoffs in overtime. The Lady Warriors beat them at home, 1-0, on Sept. 25.

Yough coach Dann Appolonia and EF coach Brandon Gerba expect a close match.

“Overall, I am pleased with the pairings,” said Gerba, whose team is undefeated in its last eight games (5-0-3). “Based on our final record, I figured we would be between nine and 11.

“We had some quality results against some Class AAA teams, but we finished third so we should be happy with the seed.”

“We have played them so much, you may as well say we are in the same section. We know what formations they like and they know about us, so it is a little easier to prepare.”

The third rematch on the girls' docket is in Class A, where eighth-seeded Charleroi (13-3-1), the second place team from Section 2 A, will take on ninth-seeded Springdale (11-5) Saturday at Belle Vernon with a 2 p.m. start time.

With a win, Charleroi would advance to take on top-seeded and once-beaten Greensburg Central Catholic (14-1).

Bentworth (9-7) made the Class A field as the 11th seed and will take on sixth-seeded Avonworth (14-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Peters Township.

Boys' playoffs

In the boys' Class A bracket, Monessen (12-5), the second place team in Section 4 A, is seeded eighth and plays ninth-seeded Riverview (11-4-2) at 6 p.m. Monday at Thomas Jefferson.

“I am pretty pleased with our seeding,” Monessen coach Sam Perry said. “We won our only playoff game in history at TJ in 2011 when we beat Brentwood, so I like where we are.”

The winner plays top-seeded Sewickly Academy (14-3) Oct. 24.

Ringgold (12-4-2), the third place team in Section 4 AAA, received no favors as it is seeded 14th and faces third-seeded Central Catholic (13-3-1) Monday at North Allegheny at 7 p.m.

“We are seeded where I thought we would be,” Ringgold coach Frank Perez said. “Central is tough and well-rounded. They deserve to be where they are. We know what we are up against but we like it that we are going in as the underdog.

“There isn't any pressure on us and we should be looser. I like our chances.”

Yough (8-8-1) hosts a pigtail match against Mt. Pleasant (11-5-1) Saturday at 3 p.m. with the winner moving on to face top-seeded and undefeated West Allegheny (14-0-3) Monday.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.

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