North Allegheny, Moon, Avonworth, Freedom Area Capture WPIAL Girls’ Soccer Gold

Monday, November 7, 2022

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) hosted its championship games in the sport of girls’ soccer on November 3-5 at Highmark Stadium. Two top seeds emerged victorious in Freedom Area (1A) and North Allegheny (4A), while the second seed Moon won in 3A, and fifth-seeded Avonworth triumphed in 2A.

In 4A, top-seeded North Allegheny won its third championship in four years. The Tigers fell in the quarterfinals last season after previously raising the trophy in 2019 and 2020.

Moon won its second consecutive WPIAL title, capturing the 3A crown after winning in 4A last year. The second-seeded Tigers had previously won in 2004, 2016, 2017, and 2021.

Avonworth repeated as the 2A champion, while Freedom Area made it three titles in seven seasons (2016, 2018) at the 1A classification.

The top four teams in 3A, the top three teams in 1A and 2A, and the top two teams in 4A have qualified for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Girls’ Soccer Championships, which begin on Tuesday, November 8. The championship games are set for November 18-19 at Eagle View Middle School.

4A RECAP [Box Score]
Top-seeded North Allegheny and third-seeded Peters Township remained in a 1-1 deadlock through 110 minutes, but the Tigers claimed the 4A crown on Thursday, November 3 in penalty kicks by a narrow 3-2 margin.

Peters Township (14-2-3) struck first in the 48th minute, as senior defender Bella Spergel buried a pass from classmate Bliss Plummer. That 1-0 advantage lasted all of 16 seconds however, as North Allegheny (20-1-0) responded immediately from senior forward Lucia Wells, as she found the back of the net off a feed from classmate Anna Bundy.

The remainder of regulation couldn’t break the 1-1 tie, nor could a pair of overtimes. In a penalty kick shootout, the Tigers saw Wells, senior midfielder Sophia Palermo, and senior defender Riley Cerqua all convert to offset the Indians’ Spergel and senior defender Christina Sefer.

North Allegheny held edges in shot attempts (13-9), shots on goal (8-7), and corner kicks (8-3). Junior goalkeeper recorded six saves for the Tigers, while freshman goalkeeper Molly Kubistek had seven stops for Peters Township.

North Allegheny will host District III fourth-place Warwrick in the first round of the PIAA Championships, while Peters Township will travel to District X champion McDowell.

3A RECAP [Box Score]
In a battle of undefeated teams and reigning WPIAL and PIAA champions, second-seeded Moon knocked off top-seeded Mars, 1-0, on Saturday, November 5 to win the 3A title.

Moon (20-0-0) scored the game’s lone goal in the 13th minute, as senior midfielder Tessa Romah finished off a rebound to make it 1-0.

The Tigers topped Mars (17-1-0) in shot attempts (11-5), with senior midfielder Kayla Leseck firing a team-high four. Romah and senior midfielder Eva Molnar each recorded a pair of shot attempts on goal.

Planets junior goalkeeper Kate McEnroe made four saves. Senior midfielder Ava Balazentis and junior midfielder Ainsley Ray combined for four of the team’s five shot attempts.

Mars previously had won 80 games in a row, a run that included three consecutive WPIAL and PIAA championships.

In the third-place consolation match to determine seeding on Thursday, November 3, third-seeded Plum defeated fifth-seeded Greater Latrobe, 2-1, at Norwin High School.

Moon will host Greater Latrobe in the PIAA Championships first round. Mars will travel to District IX champion Bradford, and Plum will play at District X champion Warren.

2A RECAP [Box Score]
Fifth-seeded Avonworth came back from an early 1-0 deficit to continue its reign at the top of 2A, as it defeated second-seeded Mt. Pleasant, 2-1, on Saturday, November 5.

Mt. Pleasant (19-2-0) needed just 2:02 to dent the scoreboard as freshman forward Morgan Gesinski scored unassisted to give the Vikings a 1-0 advantage.

Avonworth (19-3-0) found an equalizer in the 21st minute courtesy of sophomore midfielder Fiona Mahan, and then Mahan netted the go-ahead goal in the 64th minute to make it 2-1.

Mahan had 11 of the Antelopes’ 16 shot attempts, six of which came on goal. Junior forward Gianna Babusci added three shots on goal, while sophomore goalkeeper Elena Zimmerman made two saves between the posts.

The Vikings had 13 shot attempts, with Gesinski’s four leading the team and junior defender Maggie Piper attempting three shots. Freshman goalkeeper Laurel Rummel made six saves in the loss.

Top-seeded North Catholic knocked off third-seeded South Park, 3-1, in the third-place consolation match on Thursday, November 3 to claim the final PIAA spot.

In the PIAA Championships first round, Avonworth will host District X runner-up General McLane, Mt. Pleasant will travel to District V champion Bedford, and North Catholic faces District X champion Fort LeBoeuf on the road.

1A RECAP [Box Score]
Top-seeded Freedom Area returned to the top of the 1A classification, defeating second-seeded Springdale, 3-0, on Friday, November 4.

Freedom Area (17-4-0) scored twice in the first half and added an insurance goal in the second half. A handball in the box led to the Bulldogs’ first goal, as senior forward Julia Mohrbacher stepped up and converted the penalty kick in the 19th minute.

In the 40th minute, junior forward Shaye Bailey buried a feed from Mohrbacher to make it 2-0. Bailey made it a brace in the 55th minute, finishing another Mohrbacher pass to give the top seed a three-goal advantage.

Freedom Area held advantages over Springdale (16-4-0) in shot attempts (22-10), shots on goal (14-7), and corner kicks (8-4).

The Dynamos were led in shot attempts by sophomores Briana Ross and Carissa Walsh, who tallied three each. Senior goalkeeper Caity Stec made 11 saves in the defeat.

Bulldogs freshman goalkeeper Trinity Votjko earned the clean sheet with seven saves. Bailey finished with seven shot attempts, while Mohrbacher provided five.

In the third-place consolation match on Wednesday, November 2 at Peters Township High School, fifth-seeded Greensburg Central Catholic defeated sixth-seeded Waynesburg Central, 6-0, to claim the final PIAA spot.

Freedom Area will host District V runner-up Rockwood in the first round of the PIAA Championships. Springdale will travel to District X champion Mercyhurst Prep, and Greensburg Central Catholic plays at District V champion Windber.

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