Boys Soccer Playoff Preview (Class AAA Semifinals): Peters Township vs. Canon-McMillan

Written by Stephen Catanese on .

There are few certainties in life – death, taxes and powerhouse teams emerging from Section 5-AAA.

Beginning in 2000, at least one member of the section has reached the WPIAL final. This year will be no different as Section 5-AAA foes Peters Township and defending WPIAL champion Canon-McMillan meet in the semifinals at Chartiers Valley, ensuring that at least one team from the section will reach the WPIAL finals yet again.

Kickoff is set for 8:00.

"It's cliché, but in our section there's no easy game," Canon-McMillan coach Larry Fingers said.

Three of the four Class AAA semifinalists reside in Section 5-AAA, with section champion Upper St. Clair taking on Bethel Park in the other semifinal.

Peters Township (15-3-2) and Canon-McMillan (16-2-2) have met twice this year. The first match ended in a draw, but the Indians earned bragging rights by coming back from 1-0 down to earn a 3-1 victory in the second contest.

"Our players are looking forward (to the rematch)," Fingers said. "Two, three years ago, we were just a blip, a speed bump on their road to another appearance in the finals."

On paper, the game would appear to be a battle of Cinderellas with Peters Township seeded seventh and Canon-McMillan seeded 11th. But both teams have been consistently successful all year, and only one loss shared between the two teams occurred outside of Section 5-AAA.

"In two years, we haven't lost to anyone outside of Peters Township and Upper St. Clair," Fingers said.

Peters Township earned a spot in the semifinals with wins against North Allegheny (3-0) and second-seeded Seneca Valley (2-0). Mario Mastrangelo and his twin brother Nicco have been driving forces for the Indians' offense.

The Big Macs also navigated an arduous path, defeating Norwin with a resounding 4-0 victory before topping third-seeded Fox Chapel 1-0 while five players missed time due to the flu.

Josh Kruczek scored the winner against Fox Chapel and is key in the Big Macs fluid, attack-minded midfield.