Sports Town will review the 2011-12 school year during July. Today we are visiting the boys soccer season.
It was a banner year for South schools when it comes to WPIAL boys soccer. Two of the three WPIAL champions and five of the eight PIAA tournament berths went to area teams.
Nowhere was that success more pronounced than in Class AAA, where Section 5-AAA rivals Upper St. Clair and Peters Township met for the WPIAL title. As they did during the teams' two regular-season meetings, the Panthers prevailed. Upper St. Clair finished 20-2-2, advancing to the PIAA title game before losing to Conestoga.
These guys had a great, great year; honestly, they achieved so much," Panthers coach Uwe Schneider said. "None of us really expected all of this, but you always hope for it. We just got better as the season progressed, and we had a great team chemistry going and things just fell into place. They all brought their best game there for a long time."
Seton-LaSalle had a season that was almost as sterling. The Rebels finished 19-3-1 and won the WPIAL Class A championship, 1-0, against Our Lady of Sacred Heart.
Hampton won the Class AA title, but the other three semifinalists were from the South: Ringgold, Belle Vernon and South Park. Led by Josh Page (25 goals during the regular season), the Leopards enjoyed a 20-4 season in which they advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals. South Park lost only one regular-season game and was a WPIAL semifinalist and PIAA quarterfinalist.
Bethel Park (Class AAA) and Monessen (Class A) were other teams that made it to the WPIAL quarterfinals. The Black Hawks won the Section 4-AAA title, joining Upper St. Clair, South Park, Ringgold and Seton-LaSalle as section champion teams.
Individually, Brentwood's Josh Mackin ranked third in the WPIAL in regular-season goal-scoring with 29. Monessen's Alex Picciarelli (26) and Bentworth's J.T. Paterini (25) were among those who also had impressive goal totals.
(Photo: Mt. Lebanon's Matthew Collins heads the ball near the net in the first half at Mt Lebanon stadium in a game last season against Bethel Park. John Heller/Post-Gazette.)