Previewing the PIAA soccer championships
CLASS AAA BOYS
Peters Township vs. Great Valley
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium
Records: PT: 21-2; GV: 19-5-2
How they got here: WPIAL champ Peters Township def. D-6 champ State College, 4-0; def. WPIAL third-place finisher Central Catholic, 2-0; and def. D-3 runner-up Lower Dauphin, 3-0. D-1 runner-up Great Valley def. D-11 champ Southern Lehigh, 2-1; def. D-3 champion Reading, 2-1; and def. D-3 third-place finisher Mechanicsburg, 2-1.
Notable: Peters Township makes its first appearance in the state finals since 2008 and fifth overall. The Indians won titles in 1988 and 2007. Senior goalkeeper Josh Deyarmin deserves a chunk of credit for the Indians’ 17 shutouts — they’ve allowed just one goal since the start of the playoffs. Great Valley returns to the state championship for the first time since 2005, when it played in Class AA. It seeks a fourth PIAA title. Senior Kyle Hoops leads the Patriots with 11 goals.
Winner: Peters Township
CLASS A BOYS
Sewickley Academy vs. Moravian Academy
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium
Records: SA: 19-2-2; MA: 21-3
How they got here: WPIAL runner-up Sewickley Academy def. D-10 champ North East, 3-1; def. WPIAL third-place finisher Vincentian, 2-1; and def. WPIAL champ Winchester Thurston, 3-2 (2OT). D-11 champ Moravian Academy def. D-3 champion Kutztown, 3-2 (2OT); def. D-4 runner-up Bloomsburg, 2-1; and def. D-1 champ Plumstead Christian, 1-0.
Notable: Sewickley Academy is the reigning state champ and a finalist for the third time in as many seasons. The Panthers seek their fourth PIAA title. Junior forward Matt Teitelbaum scored twice in the state semifinals and quarterfinals. Defender Tom Mulholland is Sewickley Academy’s only senior. Moravian Academy, a first-time finalist, moved down a class after reaching the Class AA state quarterfinals last season. Senior Jack McCambridge controls the flow of play through the midfield.
Winner: Sewickley Academy
CLASS AAA GIRLS
Canon-McMillan vs. Central Bucks West
When: 4 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium
Records: CM: 19-4-1; CBW: 19-6-1.
How they got here: WPIAL runner-up Canon-McMillan def. D-6 champ State College, 7-0; def. D-1 fifth-place finisher Spring-Ford, 2-1; def. D-1 runner-up Central Bucks East, 2-1. D-1 third-place finisher Central Bucks West def. D-2 champ Pittston Area, 3-0; def. D-1 champ Pennsbury, 2-1; def. D-3 runner-up Elizabethtown, 2-0.
Notable: Even as first-time finalists, the Lady Macs are emboldened after beating two District 1 teams earlier in the PIAA tournament. Sophomore forward Aideen O’Donoghue had a goal and an assist in the semifinals, and fellow sophomore forward Sabrina Bryan scored four goals in the first round and added another in the semifinal. Central Bucks West will make its first PIAA finals appearance in fall soccer — the Bucks won seven state titles in spring soccer.
CLASS A GIRLS
Greensburg Central Catholic vs. Trinity
When: 5 p.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium
Records: GCC: 24-1; T: 21-1-2.
How they got here: WPIAL champ GCC def. D-5 champ McConnellsburg, 4-0; def. WPIAL third-place finisher Shady Side Academy, 4-0; def. WPIAL runner-up Freedom, 4-1. Trinity def. D-4 runner-up Southern Columbia, 5-0; def. D-1 champ Christopher Dock, 3-2 (OT); def. D-4 champ Warrior Run, 1-0 (SO).
Notable: The Centurions hope to become the fourth girls soccer program to win three straight PIAA titles. None of GCC’s playoff opponents have come closer than a two-goal margin. The defense, anchored by senior goalkeeper Olivia Binda, blanked GCC’s first two state playoff opponents before allowing a goal via penalty kick in the semifinals. Trinity dropped to Class A after reaching the PIAA Class AA final a season ago. The Shamrocks endured overtime in three of their last four games.
Winner: Greensburg Central Catholic