WPIAL Boys' Soccer Championships: Big Macs hope to even score in final
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To get to the WPIAL championship match, Canon-McMillan had to do something it failed to do twice in the regular season -- beat Peters Township.
To win the WPIAL championship, Canon-McMillan has to do something else it failed to do twice in the regular season -- beat Upper St. Clair.
The Big Macs were swept by Peters Township in the regular season, losing both Section 5-AAA meetings, but none of that mattered in the WPIAL semifinals Wednesday night when Canon-McMillan edged the Indians, 2-1, breaking open a scoreless tie in the second half on goals by Jake Wilcox and Ivan Viveros.
Now the No. 13-seeded Big Macs (17-4) will meet another Section 5-AAA rival, No. 2-seeded Upper St. Clair (18-1-1), this time for the WPIAL Class AAA championship.
The Panthers finished second in Section 5 ahead of the third-place Big Macs. They advanced to the title game with 2-1 victory against Pine-Richland as Ethan Dysert scored a goal with seven minutes remaining in regulartion to break a 1-1 stalemate.
Robbie Mertz also scored for the Panthers in the first half.
Upper St. Clair, the defending WPIAL champions, owns six WPIAL championships. Canon-McMillan has never won a WPIAL boys soccer title.
Upsets abounded in the WPIAL Class AA playoff field, but when the dust -- well, given the recent weather conditions, the mud and/or spray froma rtificial turf -- settled it was a pair of familiar programs left standing.
No. 2 Mars (18-2-1) will face No. 4 Quaker Valley (17-3-1) for the WPIAL championship on Saturday. The Quakers are six-time WPIAL champions but have not won one since 1999. Two-time Pennsylvania Coach of the Year Gene Klein leads the Quakers.
The Quakers got to the championship game after defeating South Fayette, 1-0 in two overtimes, in a semifinal match Wednesday.
The Planets have reached the WPIAL finals four out of the past five seasons. They have won WPIAL titles in 2008 and '09. Mars is led by senior midfielder Spencer Posey who has 31 goals this season.
The Planets edged Belle Veron, 2-1, as Matt White scored the game-winner with seven minutes remaining in their semifinal match Wednesday.
Upsets were plentiful in the WPIAL Class A boys soccer itournament this season.
The last two teams standing are similar in their talent level and overall record but far different in their history.
No. 4 Greensburg Central Catholic (15-4-1) is a three-time WPIAL champion. No. 10 Riverside (15-4-1) has never won a WPIAL title and hasn't been to the WPIAL finals in more than a decade.
The Centurions, who finished tied with Serra Catholic for the Section 1 title, defeated No. 1 seed Sewickley Academy, 2-1, in their semifinal match. Devon Nguyen and Adam Tucker scored first half goals and the Centurions made those stand up against previously undefeated Sewickley (17-1-1).
Meanwhile, Riverside, the runner-up to Sewickley in Section 5, got by Serra in that semifinal, 2-1, on a late goal by Trevor Moser.
First Published November 2, 2012 12:00 am