Plum athletes named to WPIAL all-section teams
The Section 3-AAA Finest 15 boys soccer team has been released, and Franklin Regional, Gateway and Plum players are among the 15 voted in by the section's seven coaches.
Section champion Fox Chapel had five players voted to the team, while Franklin Regional had four, and Penn Hills had three selected.
Gateway, Plum and Kiski Area had one pick each.
Senior midfielder/forward James Young, senior defender Andrew Mastovich, sophomore midfielder/defender Shane Popko and sophomore forward Moshe Simpson were voted in from a Franklin Regional team that finished 9-3 in section play and handed Fox Chapel its only section defeat.
The Panthers, the No. 2 team from the section and No. 10 seed for the WPIAL playoffs, went 1-1 in the tournament.
The Foxes beat section foe Kiski Area, 4-0, in the semifinals before falling to Canon-McMillan, 2-1, Friday in the championship game at Highmark Stadium.
Gateway senior midfielder Danny Snyder and Plum junior defender Cooper Myers (two goals, two assists) had solid seasons and earned inclusion on the Finest 15 squad.
The Gators and Mustangs were competitive in Section 3 play, but were not able to get over the hump in as many section contests as they had hoped.
Gateway and Plum split their season series, each winning on the other's home field.
The Gators upended the Mustangs, 3-1, in the section finale for both teams, as Gateway finished 3-9 in section play, while Plum ended 2-9-1.
Each team was able to select one player that was nominated but did not make the Finest 15 as all-section honorable mentions.
Midfielder Mario Coreno, who scored three goals and added two assists this season, is the honorable-mention selection from Plum.
The All-WPIAL team had not been released as of the deadline for this week's edition. All members of the Finest 15 were eligible.
The WPIAL Class AAA championship tournament concluded Saturday, and Baldwin took home the title with a finals victory over North Allegheny.
Before the WPIAL tournament began, coaches in all five AAA sections voted and assembled the all-section teams for the season.
Players from Plum were well represented on the Section 4 lists.
Plum senior middle hitter Clairissa Hankinson, a four-year letterman for the Mustangs, earned first-team honors and was placed in the running for an All-WPIAL selection along with the other members of the first team.
The All-WPIAL teams had not been announced as of the deadline for this week's edition.
Senior Maddie Gestrich (setter) and junior middle hitter Skyler Kutzner were named to the second team.
Third-team picks included seniors Cassidy Soboslay (libero) and Megan Rengers (outside hitter).
Earning honorable mention was senior defensive specialist Emma Carroll.
Four of the Plum picks also were all-section honorees last year: Hankinson (second), Gestrich (third), Kutzner (third) and Rengers (third).
The all-section selections from Plum helped the team battle in the race for the WPIAL playoffs in the section.
The Mustangs won three straight section games down the stretch to finish in fourth place at 8-6.
Armstrong, Fox Chapel and Oakland Catholic each earned a spot in the WPIAL playoffs from the section.
In its first season after the merger of Kittanning and Ford City, Armstrong won the section championship with a 14-0 record.
Michael Love is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.