Pine-Richland, Moon, Deer Lakes, Winchester Thurston Collect WPIAL Boys’ Soccer Crowns

Monday, November 7, 2022

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) held its championship games in the sport of boys’ soccer on November 3-5 at Highmark Stadium. It was a mixture of different seeds that came away as champions, as top-seeded Moon (3A), second-seeded Winchester Thurston (1A), fourth-seeded Deer Lakes (2A), and sixth-seeded Pine-Richland (4A) were winners.

Sixth-seeded Pine-Richland claimed its first WPIAL boys’ soccer championship by knocking off the top seed Seneca Valley in 4A. The Raiders were looking for their third consecutive title in the classification.

In 3A, top-seeded Moon captured its sixth WPIAL title and first in 19 seasons. The Tigers previously won in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1990, and 2003.

Deer Lakes made it two in three years in 2A, winning last in 2020. In 1A, Winchester Thurston repeated as WPIAL champions and claimed its third overall (2014, 2021, 2022).

The top three teams in 1A, 2A, and 3A, and the top two teams in 4A have qualified for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Boys’ 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]
One goal was all it took for sixth-seeded Pine-Richland to capture its first WPIAL boys’ soccer title, as it defeated top-seeded Seneca Valley, 1-0, on Saturday, November 5.

Following a scoreless first half, Pine-Richland (15-4-1) struck in the 60th minute when senior midfielder Ben Rishel found the back of the net off an assist from senior defender Tyler Derks. The Rams’ tally was on their second and final shot on goal.

Fritz and Rishel generated two of Pine-Richland’s five shot attempts, along with senior forward Colin Zvejnieks, senior midfielder Cale Klaff, and sophomore defender Brady Baker. Junior goalkeeper Cadan Bennett made nine saves to preserve the shutout.

Seneca Valley (18-1-1) held an 18-5 advantage in shot attempts, a 10-2 gap in shots on goal, and an 8-0 difference in corner kicks. Senior midfielder Connor Oros generated four shot attempts (three on goal), and classmate Beaux Lizewski was on target with all three of his shots. Senior goalkeeper Ryan Krumenacker made one save.

Pine-Richland will host District III fourth-place Warwick in the first round of the PIAA Championships, while Seneca Valley will travel to District VI champion State College.

3A RECAP [Box Score]
Top-seeded Moon scored on three of its five shots on goal, using that efficiency to defeat 11th-seeded Ambridge, 3-0, to win the WPIAL title at 3A on Saturday, November 5.

Moon (20-0-1) made it 1-0 in the 33rd minute when senior midfielder Ryan Kopay finished a feed from sophomore midfielder Aedan Costa. The advantage doubled six minutes later when junior midfielder Cooper Nickles was on the right end of a pass from senior midfielder Dominic Corrado. In the 51st minute, the Tigers sealed the victory with a goal from senior midfielder Ryan Hildenbrand, assisted by junior forward Davi Jansson.

Ambridge (14-7-1) held a slight 14-13 edge in shots, but Moon led in shots on goal (5-3) and corner kicks (7-5). The Bridgers had a game-high seven shot attempts from senior forward Will Gruca, and senior goalkeeper Evan Scheib made two saves between the posts.

Tigers junior goalkeeper Zachary Shutak stopped three shots to earn the clean sheet.

In the third-place consolation match on Wednesday, November 2 at Peters Township High School, second-seeded Plum defeated 13th-seeded Montour, 2-1, to earn the final PIAA spot.

Moon will open PIAA Championships play by hosting District III third-place Palmyra. Ambridge will travel to District IX champion Bradford, and Plum will play at District X champion Cathedral Prep.

2A RECAP [Box Score]
Fourth-seeded Deer Lakes and sixth-seeded Beaver needed overtime to decide the opening game of the WPIAL Boys’ & Girls’ Soccer Championships on Thursday, November 3, with Deer Lakes netting the golden goal in the 88th minute to win 1-0.

Both goalkeepers kept their opponents off the scoreboard through regulation, as Deer Lakes (20-2-0) senior Nick Braun managed two saves and Beaver (14-7-0) senior Robert Cestra collected four. In the 88th minute though, Lancers freshman forward Peyton Kushon freed classmate Jacob Orseno in the box, and the midfielder tucked his shot inside the right post to win the game.

Deer Lakes held advantages in shots (11-6), shots on goal (5-3), and corner kicks (4-2). Kushon and senior forward Ruger Beer led all players with three shot attempts each, with Beer putting two on net.Bobcats senior midfielder Caden Biela and junior midfielder Kyle Carlsen recorded a pair of shots each.

Second-seeded Quaker Valley garnered the final PIAA bid with a 2-1 overtime win over top-seeded South Park in the third-place consolation match on Wednesday, November 5.

In the PIAA Championships first round, Deer Lakes will host District X runner-up Harbor Creek, Beaver will play District V champion Bedford at Windber High School, and Quaker Valley travels to District X champion Mercyhurst Prep.

1A RECAP [Box Score]
In one of the most thrilling matches from the entire WPIAL Boys’ & Girls’ Soccer Championships weekend, second-seeded Winchester Thurston defended its 1A title with a 3-2 victory over eighth-seeded Charleroi on Friday, November 4.

Winchester Thurston (16-2-1) didn’t take long to grab a 1-0 lead, as senior forward Jordan Poller-Prince struck 3:24 into the contest. That was canceled out in the 11th minute by Charleroi (17-3-0) junior midfielder Bryce Large, who ripped a rocket from a couple steps inside midfield to knot the score at 1-1.

The Bears carried a 2-1 lead into the halftime break when senior midfielder Alex Hauskrecht found the back of the net in the 33rd minute. However, the Cougars answered in the 61st minute when a pinballing shot by sophomore midfielder Landon Barcus was initially saved, only for junior forward Joel Chambers to pounce on the rebound for the equalizer.

The 2-2 deadlock was short-lived however, as freshman midfielder Oliver Daboo answered 2:31 later to provide the winning goal in the 63rd minute.

Hauskrecht led Winchester Thurston with four shot attempts and three on goal. Junior forward Luca Koll provided three shot attempts for the Bears, and classmate Adrian Musekamp made five saves between the posts.

Large and junior defender Jake Chambers both attempted three shots, while Joel Chambers had two on net. Junior goalkeeper Nate Mazon stopped four shots in the defeat.

Winchester Thurston held a 18-14 edge in shot attempts, while Charleroi earned three corner kicks to the Bears’ two. Both teams had seven shots on goal.

In the third-place consolation match on Thursday, November 3 at West Mifflin High School, fourth-seeded Eden Christian Academy defeated third-seeded Sewickley Academy in penalty kicks, 2-1, to claim the final PIAA spot.

Winchester Thurston will host District VI champion United in the first round of the PIAA Championships. Charleroi will travel to District IX champion Karns City, and Eden Christian Academy faces District X champion Seneca on the road.

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