Boys Soccer gets ready for WPIAL playoffs
Photo by Ellie Bates
By: Wil Dunda
A roster of 40 boys anxiously stared at the TribLive website on Wednesday afternoon, awaiting the reveal of the 2021 WPIAL playoff soccer brackets. While coaches, family, and fans sat on the edge of their seats patiently waiting for the technical difficulties to pass, the Quakers’ future was unveiled.
For the fortieth consecutive year, Quaker Valley boys soccer has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs. With an undefeated section record and an overall record of 13-2, the boys have been placed in the second seed.
“In the last 25 years of back-to-back qualifying for playoffs, QV was first seed nine times,” head coach J.J. Veshio reports. “This would have been the fourth year in a row as first seed if you don’t count last season’s COVID-19 complication.”
Having the first seed is preferable because the team’s first-round game is against the last team (16th seed) in the bracket. However, the Quakers played the 15th seed, Burrell High, in the first round on Monday, Oct. 25, and won with a final score of 5-1.
QV will have their first two games take place on their home turf, which is a major advantage for the Quakers. Despite the possibly tougher road to finals, the boys will have the familiarity of Chuck Knox stadium under their boots for a grounded start to playoffs.
Although their regular season was full of setting records, long-standing shutouts, and mass amounts of goals, the Quakers did run into some challenges in non-section games. Senior forward Rowan Kriebel currently has the most goals on the team this season, but he still recognizes the trouble the team ran into.
“I feel that even though we lost to the top team in 3A and the top team in 4A, we are still the strongest team in our section,” Kriebel says. “Peters Township and West Allegheny showed us challenges that we aren’t used to in our section, and it helps us because it gives us a chip on our shoulder heading into playoffs.”
It is expected that their games will get more challenging as they hopefully advance to each round. Having those mistakes in their back pocket to learn from may help in the weeks to come.
Due to the Quakers winning their first-round game, they will advance to the quarterfinals. The game will take place on Thursday, Oct. 28 where they will play on their home turf against East Allegheny.