Print

Girls Soccer Playoff Preview (Class AAA Semifinals): Peters Township vs. Bethel Park

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

No. 2 Peters Township (15-4-1) vs. No. 6 Bethel Park (17-2-1) - Peters Township is in the WPIAL semifinals for a sixth consecutive season and the Indians are trying to make it to their sixth consecutive WPIAL Class AAA final. Standing in their way is a Bethel Park team who won a regular-season matchup between the two squads back on September 7 in the fourth game of the season. The Black Hawks won 3-2 to snap Peters Township's 18-game winning streak.

"That game seems like a century ago," Peters Township coach Pat Vereb said. "Hopefully we are a more organized team this go around. It should be a good match. Bethel Park is very athletic, they have great speed up top and good senior leadership."

Bethel Park is back in the WPIAL semifinals for a second consecutive season and they got thanks to a pair of goals from Tatiana Ruzzini in a 3-1 win over Gateway in the quarterfinals. Peters Township are three-time defending PIAA Class AAA champions but the Indians had to overcome plenty to get back to this stage. The team was decimated by graduation and injury, losing two-time Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year Veronica Latsko to an ACL injury in the offseason. In the quarterfinals Peters Township needed a shootout to finally prevail over Pine-Richland. The Indians won 4-2 in the shootout with Madison Santo scoring the decisive goal. Peters Township has not lost a playoff game since the 2011 WPIAL championship game against Upper St. Clair.

"A lot of the major players have changed, we have younger girls who are being asked to be leaders," Vereb said. "We may not be the overall favorite, but we are the team that everybody wants to beat the most. There is no doubt the target is still on us, I think it goes with the territory of being successful."