It’s late October, which means the World Series is about get started and Halloween is right around the corner. But, more importantly, it means the District 4 playoffs for boys and girls soccer are about to get started.
Our area is full of talented players and teams in every classification. So, lets take a look at each bracket and see who will end up winning in each field.
Join me as I try to predict each field. I’m sure my picks will all be locks too, unlike my Sun-Gazette football picks record against my co-worker Chris Masse.
The District 2-4 Class AAAA brackets for boys and girls soccer, which features Williamsport, were not released yet.
Just eight teams are in the Class A field, but there’s plenty of great matchups and teams. The bracket was redone late Sunday to redo the field, and it put Southern Columbia and South Williamsport — who both reached last year’s PIAA Class A semifinals — on opposite sides of the bracket, giving the Tigers the top seed and South the No. 2 seed.
Muncy is in for a tough task to open the tournament as the Indians have to play against defending state champion Southern Columbia on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers have a solid defensive unit, and are led by 100-goal scorer Loren Gehret, among others. Muncy has been led by a trio of scorers in Emilie Nagel (24 goals, 10 assists), Mia Edkin (13 goals, 20 assists) and Avery Bigelow (10 goals), giving the Indians’ offense numerous weapons up top.
On the bottom half of the bracket, the Mounties drew Juniata Christian. South Williamsport has been playing well in every facet. McKaye Wilton recently joined the 50-goal club as she currently has 27 goals this year. She’s joined by Ella Moore (25) and Piper Minier (19), not to mention standout Aleigha Rieppel, who leads the area in assists and helps control the midfield.
QUARTERFINALS: Southern over Muncy, Northeast Bradford over Wyalusing, Benton over Meadowbrook Christian, South Williamsport over Juniata Christian. SEMIFINALS: Southern over Northeast Bradford, Benton over South Williamsport. FINAL: Southern over South Williamsport.
The Class AA field has a handful of talented teams who in all honesty could make a deep run. Warrior Run, Hughesville, Milton, Troy, Montoursville, Lewisburg and Central Columbia are all talented teams and have a case to be the district’s best.
Warrior Run lost its final two games of the year but got into the tournament and could make some noise as they face Midd-West. The Mustangs don’t have a go-to scorer with a ton of goals, but have players up top who can make things happen. Whether Warrior Run starts Chloe Burden or Addy Ohnmeiss in goal, both have proven themselves as solid goalies. Offensively, both Raygan Lust and Amara Bieber lead the team with 10 goals.
Mackenzie Lopez and Sammy Roarty have become solid scorers for the Black Panthers, and will be players Williamson will need to try to limit as the two play in a first-round game.
Lewisburg gained a ton of confidence as the year progressed, especially after rattling off seven straight road wins late in the year. The Green Dragons sparked at the right time, making them a dangerous team in the playoffs.
Central Columbia (18-0) and Montoursville (18-0) both wrapped up the regular season with perfect records and are on opposite sides of the bracket and seem to be on a collision course to meet up for the District 4 championship. Both teams have solid offenses, solid defenses and great coaching. If they meet up, expect it to be one outstanding contest for the gold medal.
FIRST ROUND: Warrior Run over Midd-West; Milton over Williamson. QUARTERFINALS: Central Columbia over Warrior Run; Hughesville over Troy; Montoursville over Milton; Lewisburg over Bloomsburg. SEMIFINALS: Central Columbia over Hughesville; Montoursville over Lewisburg. FINAL: Central Columbia over Montoursville.
Shikellamy earned the top seed in the Class AAA field with a 14-4 record and will face Athens in a semifinal matchup. Selinsgrove and Mifflinburg will compete in the other semifinal.
The Braves’ Elli Ronk, Sophie Feathers and Jillian Deivert are a solid trio as they have combined for 41 goals and 26 assists.
Shikellamy has beaten two of the three other teams in the field during the regular season, defeating Mifflinburg, 3-1, and Selinsgrove, 4-0, early in the year.
SEMIFINALS: Shikellamy over Athens; Selinsgrove over Mifflinburg. FINAL: Shikellamy over Selinsgrove.
Only two area teams are in the Class A bracket, and they happen to face one another in their quarterfinal matchup.
South Williamsport and Sullivan County, both Mid-Penn representatives, will play Round 3 on Saturday for a right to advance to the District 4 semifinals. The two split in the regular season. The Mounties won the first game, 2-1, before the Griffins took the rematch, 5-0.
Both Sullivan and South have plenty of scorers. The Mounties lost a few close games this year, which should help provide experience in districts. South/Sullivan Round 3 should be a really good game to watch.
Northumberland Christian is the top seed in Class A after going 15-1 and winning an Allegheny Christian league title with a 7-0 mark.
Also in Class A is another Mid-Penn standout team in Benton, who drew Southern Columbia in the quarterfinals. Benton went 15-2 and enter districts with an 11-game winning streak and plenty of confidence.
QUARTERFINALS: Northumberland Christian over Juniata Christian; South Williamsport over Sullivan County; Benton over Southern Columbia; East Juniata over Meadowbrook Christian. SEMIFINALS: Northumberland Christian over South Williamsport; East Juniata over Benton. FINAL: East Juniata over Northumberland Christian.
As is the case most years, this is Lewisburg’s tournament to lose. The Green Dragons finished the year 15-1-1 and are motivated to get back to the state championship game after a tough shoot-out loss in last year’s PIAA Class AA final in Hershey.
Lewisburg will face either Williamson or Central Columbia in the first round, as the Green Dragons are one of three Class AA teams with a first-round bye. Also receiving a bye are Danville and Wellsboro.
The Green Dragons have allowed just five goals the entire season, and only one team — Midd-West — has scored twice against them. Alfred Romano is having a stellar season, scoring 22 goals and dishing out 14 assists and Viktor Permyashkin has added nine goals and six assists. Lewisburg also has not allowed a goal since the Seals scored one on Sept. 22.
Milton and Warrior Run will play in a quarterfinal matchup, pitting two teams with really stellar offenses against one another. Evan Yoder leads Milton with 21 goals while Ethan Rhodes has nine and Seth Yoder has eight. In addition, Dom Ballo has an impressive 18 assists. For Warrior Run, Alex Brown has 16 goals, Ben Potter has 13 and Tanner Polcyn has scored nine.
Loyalsock and Montoursville play in a first-round matchup tonight. It’s a rematch from last year in which Loyalsock won a 3-2 overtime thriller. Expect this year’s matchup to be just as good as both the Lancers and Warriors have good teams. The two split their regular-season meetings, with Montoursville winning the first game, 1-0, before Loyalsock won the second, 4-0, two weeks ago.
FIRST ROUND: Central Columbia over Williamson; Loyalsock over Montoursville; Midd-West over Lourdes. QUARTERFINALS: Lewisburg over Central Columbia; Milton over Warrior Run; Danville over Loyalsock; Wellsboro over Midd-West. SEMIFINALS: Lewisburg over Milton; Danville over Loyalsock. FINAL: Lewisburg over Danville.
Give Jersey Shore coach Mitch Cornelius a ton of credit. He’s helped the Bulldogs’ boys soccer team continue to improve and get better and best themselves. In his first year, he coached the Bulldogs to its first ever District 4 championship game appearance. He’s hoping Jersey Shore can not only get back, but perhaps win it all. Jersey Shore has an outstanding defense led by Owen Farr, Brock Smith, Isaiah Reibson and Pete Bellomo and that foursome have been playing great all year long.
While the defense has played well, the offense has been led by Nick Bellomo’s 17 goals and Daniel Marshall’s nine assists.
The Class AAA field will be tough though, as the Bulldogs have a semifinal match with Shikellamy, a team with a trio of scorers in Ryan Williams (16 goals), Fernando Nunez (13) and Cole Lynch (10). They will look to test Shore’s defense.
The other semifinal pits Selinsgrove against Athens. Athens finished runners-up in the Northern Tier after going 9-7-1 and 8-2-1 in the NTL. The Seals are riding an eight-game win streak and enter districts 16-2.
SEMIFINALS: Jersey Shore over Shikellamy; Selinsgrove over Athens. FINAL: Jersey Shore over Selinsgrove.NEWSLETTER
Today's breaking news and more in your inbox