Girls Soccer Class 4A First Round Preview

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On Wednesday, the WPIAL released the 12-team bracket for the girls Class 4A soccer playoffs. Today, seeds 5 through 12 will face-off in the first round. The top four seeds will receive a bye into the quarterfinals. Those teams include No. 1 Seneca Valley, No. 2 Norwin, No. 3 Peters Township and No. 4 Upper St. Clair. All four teams were crowned as section champions at the end of the regular season, with Upper St. Clair and Peters Township sharing the Section 2 title.

In the first round, all higher seeds are hosting unless otherwise noted.

No. 5 Pine-Richland (14-3) vs. No. 12 Hempfield Spartans (6-9), 2 p.m.

Hempfield is the lone team in the playoff field that did not record a winning record in the regular season, but was able to finish fourth in Section 3 to extend its season. This is the Spartans fourth playoff appearance in five years, last winning a playoff game in 2014. They missed the playoffs a year ago…Pine-Richland finished a game behind top seed Seneca Valley in Section 1 this season. The Rams offense is clicking on all cylinders entering¬†the playoffs, scoring double-digit goals in each of their last two section games. Pine-Richland was upset in the WPIAL quarterfinals a year ago. This is the first meeting this season between the two teams.

No 6 Penn-Trafford (12-4) vs. No. 11 Butler Golden Tornado (10-5-2) at North Allegheny, 3 p.m.

It will be a different path to Highmark Stadium if Penn-Trafford wishes to defend its Class 4A WPIAL title. For one, the Warriors didn’t receive a bye and will have to win their first round game on a neutral site field. Penn-Trafford was in contention for the Section 3 title all the way until the last game of the season, but lost to Norwin for the second time this season. Penn-Trafford has won three of four games entering the playoffs…Butler is making its third straight playoff appearance, but have been one-and-done in the previous two trips. The Golden Tornado finished fourth in Section 1 this season, but are 4-0-1 in their final five section games of the regular season, including beating the top seed, Seneca Valley. This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

No. 7 North Allegheny Tigers (10-5-1) vs. No. 10 Moon Tigers (11-4-2), 5 p.m.

The primetime game at Newman Stadium on Saturday will feature a couple of Tiger powerhouses. North Allegheny finished third in Section 1 this season. As a lower seed a year ago, fought its way to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals. They went 3-0-1 to conclude the regular season, including a 2-0 win against defending PIAA champion, Norwin…Moon was the new kids on the block this season in Class 4A after going undefeated and winning a PIAA title in Class 3A a year ago. The Tigers continued to show success at the next level, finishing in a tie for third place in Section 2. Moon ended the regular season with back-to-back shutout wins. This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

No. 8 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (10-5-3) vs. Connellsville Falcons (12-5), 12 p.m.

The first game of the day will feature Mt. Lebanon, who finished tied for third place in Section 2, and Connellsville, who finished in third place in Section 3. The Blue Devils have made the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Mt. Lebanon went 6-1-1 in their final eight regular season games, including five clean slates…Connellsville is making its second straight playoff appearance, but lost in the first round last year. The Falcons won four of their last five section games, including three shutouts. This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

For a full look at the Class 4A bracket, click here.