5 Things to Watch in Week 4 of High School Soccer

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Friday September 23, 2022 | 7:30 AM


It wasn’t that long ago that West Allegheny was the team to beat in the Parkway Conference, back before the Indians made the leap to 5A.

Remember that during their last four seasons there (until 2015) they won that conference 28-3, reached the WPIAL Finals three times in that span and won two titles.

Now they are back.

And in a way, it feels like they never left, as West A have gone back to their old ways of winning. The Indians are 4-0 under coach Dave Schoppe this season and have beaten their opponents 182-28.

However, a big test awaits on Friday.

West Allegheny (4-0, 1-0) meets Aliquippa (3-0, 1-0), the new team to beat on the Parkway. The Quips have not lost a conference game since joining the Parkway in 2020. They are 11-0.

It’s a home game for Aliquippa, but Ashman Stadium is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, so this season the Quips are using Freedom’s pitch instead.

Undefeated vs. undefeated

The Parkway Fight isn’t the only game that brings together two undefeated teams.

Upper St. Clair (4-0, 1-0) takes on Peters Township (4-0, 1-0) for first place in the Allegheny Six on Friday. The teams have identical records, but they got there with very different quarterback strategies.

Peters Township has the WPIAL’s leading passer in Junior Chris Cibrone, who attempted a WPIAL-high 122 passes. Cibrone has almost twice as many degrees (70) as USC quarterback Julian Dahlem attempts (37).

Still, the two QBs threw a similar number of touchdown passes, which is a testament to Dahlem’s efficiency. Cibrone has 12. Dahlem has 10.

Dahlem, a 5’2″ sophomore, is the brother of Ethan Dahlem, a former standout quarterback for Upper St. Clair who graduated in 2021. The younger Dahlem has surpassed 100 yards just once in four games, but completed 27 of 37 passes for 460 yards and no interceptions.

In week zero, Dahlem completed his only attempt for a 91-yard touchdown.

Find familiar faces

The planners from WPIAL didn’t make it easy for Belle Vernon.

The Leopards dropped to 3A this season and joined a new conference, but they sure have seen plenty of familiar faces on their off-conference schedule. The latest is a Friday matchup with former conference rival Thomas Jefferson.

This is the third team from her old conference – the Class 4A Big Eight – that Belle Vernon has to face in a non-conference game this season. The Leopards defeated Laurel Highlands 41-20 in Week 1 and lost to McKeesport 14-6 in Week 2.

In Week 3, they went up two classifications, losing 14-13 to Penn-Trafford, the defending WPIAL and PIAA-5A champion.

They will now visit Thomas Jefferson on Friday. The Leopards defeated TJ twice last season to become WPIAL Class 4A runners-up. They won 28-21 in the regular season and 21-7 in the WPIAL semifinals.

Maples RB accumulates TDs

Mapletown is enjoying its first 4-0 start since 1997 thanks to a running back leading the WPIAL on touchdowns.

Landan Stevenson, a 5-foot-11 senior who recently surpassed 4,000 career years, leads all WPIAL scorers with 16 TDs. Stevenson had 222 yards and scored three goals in last week’s 43-14 win over Beth-Center.

Be aware, however, that the Maples schedule is quickly getting tougher with games against Carmichaels (3-1, 1-0) on Friday and California (4-0, 1-0) in Week 5. Both were a year ago and playoff teams finished ahead of Mapletown in the Tri-County South standings.

The Maples beat their first four opponents 183-22 in a stretch that included two matchups with Avella. The teams played each other in week zero and week 2. The Maples won 42-0 and 49-0.

Her other win was 49-8 over Frazier when Stevenson scored six goals.

Sort out 6A

There could be a split in Class 6A after Friday night. Or, perhaps just as likely, Week 4 could end with five teams all tied 1-1.

That’s because this week’s schedule pits two 1-0 teams against two 0-1 teams. Central Catholic (0-1) hosts North Allegheny (1-0) in West Mifflin. Seneca Valley (0-1) visits Mt. Lebanon (1-0).

Canon-McMillan (1-1) has a nonconference game.

Chris Harlan is a contributor to the Tribune Review. You can contact Chris via email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

tags: AliquipaBelle Vernon, Mapletown, Peters Parish, Upper St Clair, West Allegheny

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