Deer Lakes boys, girls soccer teams set to begin WPIAL postseason as top-3 seeds
Deer Lakes’ boys and girls soccer teams already will add to the banners in the high school’s gymnasium, but the Lancers hope they’re not done decorating yet.
The WPIAL rewarded the Lancers for their respective Section 2-AA championships by awarding them top-three seeds in the playoffs, which begin Saturday in girls soccer and Monday in boys soccer.
The girls team, coming off its first section championship in school history, received the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye; the Lancers (15-1-1) will play No. 6 Brownsville or No. 11 Quaker Valley in the quarterfinals Wednesday at a time and site to be determined.
The boys team, which posted an unbeaten 15-0-1 record and won its first section title since 2003, received the No. 2 seed and will host No. 15 Beth-Center at 8 p.m. Monday.
“There’s a lot of milestones this program’s been looking to break,” Deer Lakes boys coach Jordan Wiegand said. “I’m not sure what the highest seed they’ve gotten was ... and on top of it, the program’s never been past the quarterfinals. That’s also a huge thing we’re looking forward to. But ultimately, none of that is what we’re focused on. We’re focused on that goal from the beginning of the season; our eyes are on a WPIAL championship.”
There’s still plenty of soccer left to determine who wins the WPIAL titles: the championship games will be spread out from Nov. 1-3 at Highmark Stadium.
Only defending PIAA Class AA champion Quaker Valley received a higher seed than the Deer Lakes boys.
South Park and Hopewell took the top two seeds in Class AA girls ahead of Deer Lakes, which is making its second consecutive playoff trip after a six-year drought. The Lancers lost in the first round last season to Brownsville, a potential quarterfinal opponent.
“Obviously, it’s an exciting time,” Deer Lakes coach Frank Accetta said. “Getting a week off, it could be a good thing, and it could be a bad thing. I guess we’re going to find out. ... I’ll see what we have in store, but (the seed) is a just thing. We’re trying to keep the team focused.”
Three other girls teams from the Alle-Kiski Valley qualified for the playoffs out of Section 2-AA: Burrell (12-2-2), which received the No. 7 seed and a game against No. 10 Yough at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kiski Area; No. 8 seed Freeport (10-6-2), which will play No. 9 North Catholic at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mars; and No. 12 Apollo-Ridge (6-6-1), which will take on No. 5 Avonworth at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mars.
For Burrell, the game against Yough is a rematch from last season’s WPIAL quarterfinals, a 3-2 Yough victory.
“I think both teams are very good teams,” Burrell coach Gregg Dale said. “I don’t know what Yough is coming back with. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a very good game. I feel Burrell is stronger this year than last year.”
The 3 p.m. game at Kiski Area on Saturday will be a Class AAA first-round matchup between No. 7 Kiski Area (13-4) and No. 10 Plum (12-5), former section rivals who also meet frequently in nonsection play.
“I’m nervous to play Plum because it’s such a rival game,” Kiski Area coach Melisa O’Toole said. “It’s a scary opponent to get. So we can’t take anything for granted because they can easily beat us, and we can easily beat them.”
Springdale (9-6), the most recent A-K Valley team to win a WPIAL championship back in 2009, received the No. 9 seed in the Class A girls soccer bracket and will play No. 8 Chartiers-Houston at 1 p.m. Saturday at North Allegheny.
Girls quarterfinal games will be played Oct. 24.
After making a run to the WPIAL Class A championship game last season as an underdog No. 7 seed, Springdale’s boys soccer team received a bit more love Wednesday, earning the No. 5 seed. The Dynamos (12-2-1), who finished second in Section 3-A to top-seeded Avonworth, will play No. 12 Bishop Canevin at 6 p.m. Monday at Hampton.
“Doing what we did last year, beating No. 2 (Freedom), beating No. 3 (Seton LaSalle), and being in the final, I know everyone is going to try to beat us no matter what spot we are,” Springdale coach Cesareo Sanchez said. “Last year, we were underdogs, and this year we’re top five. I think everyone we will play, we’re going to have to play harder.”
While Deer Lakes claimed one of the top seeds in Class AA, Freeport (8-10) received the ultimate underdog slot: the No. 16 seed and a date with No. 1 Quaker Valley, the defending PIAA champion, at 8 p.m. Monday at Quaker Valley.
In Class AAA, Kiski Area (11-6-1) returned to the playoffs after a year away; the seventh-seeded Cavaliers (11-6-1) will travel to Belle Vernon for a first-round game at 8 p.m. Monday.
Plum and Fox Chapel both qualified for the Class 4A bracket. Plum (11-7) received the No. 12 seed and will play No. 5 Pine-Richland at 8 p.m. Monday at Pine-Richland, while Fox Chapel (11-6-1) will play No. 4 Canon-McMillan at 8 p.m. Monday at Canon-McMillan.
Boys quarterfinal games will take place Oct. 25.