Girls Soccer: Five Things to Watch

Written by Sports Town on .

Here are five things to keep an eye on during the 2013 girls soccer season.

*What will the WPIAL do for an encore? Last season saw WPIAL teams sweep the PIAA championships, with Peters Township (AAA), Moon (AA) and Greensburg Central Catholic (A) winning titles in their respective classes. A year earlier, WPIAL teams won two gold medals.

*Peters Township will need to overcome several key losses if the Indians are to continue their impressive run of success. The two-time defending PIAA champions have won three WPIAL titles in the past four seasons. However, Olivia Roberson graduated, and the Indians were dealt an unexpected blow when Post-Gazette Player of the Year Veronica Latsko tore the ACL in her right knee. Latsko is expected to miss the season. The Indians will now lean more heavily on players such as senior forward Emily Franty and junior midfielder Laurel Carpenter.

*Mars will look to "four-peat." The Planets have owned Class AA in recent years, winning the past three WPIAL championships. A season ago, they shut out 14 of their 23 opponents. The Planets defeated Mars, 2-1, in a shootout in the WPIAL final. The Planets were upset by Mercyhurst Prep in the PIAA playoffs. Mars returns senior goalkeeper Sarah Dailey, senior forward Lydia Dennis and senior midfielder Amber Fichter.

*Greensburg Central Catholic star Frannie Crouse will shoot for the WPIAL career scoring record. In three seasons, Crouse has scored 142 goals, including 55 last fall. Now a senior, Crouse will need 64 goals to break the record of 205 set by former Steel Valley standout Jess Strom in 2000. Crouse and the Centurions hope to win their third consecutive WPIAL Class A championship. Crouse has committed to Penn State.

*Two of the area's top players are no longer at their old schools. Mikayla Mance, who as a freshman led the WPIAL in scoring last season with 44 goals, is not playing for Yough. Mance is training with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Development Academy. Italia Biondi, who scored 22 goals as a junior for Greensburg Central Catholic last season, transferred to Penn-Trafford.