Five teams in the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery area reached the final week of the fall sports season.
Faith Christian Academy and Springfield Montco boys soccer, Gwynedd Mercy Academy field hockey, Pennridge girls soccer and Pope John Paul II girls volleyball will compete in state semifinal matchups Tuesday. Winners will advance to state championship games Saturday in Mechanicsburg.
All five matchups feature teams that are familiar with each other, either from past state playoff meetings, regular season games or District 1 tournament rematches.
Faith Christian Academy is looking to reach its third straight state championship game. The Lions won the PIAA-A title in 2020 and lost it overtime in 2021. They face Moravian Academy in the semifinals Tuesday. They beat Moravian Academy in the 2020 quarterfinals, 2-1, and 2021 semifinals, 4-0. Moravian Academy won the state championship in 2019.
Springfield Montco is facing Phoenixville less than two weeks after the teams played in the District 1-3A championship game. The Spartans won that game, 2-1, for the program’s first district title. Peter Schmidt made a penalty kick to tie the game and Riley Martin converted a penalty kick to put Springfield ahead.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy is looking to get back to the state final after losing the title game in 2021. The Monarchs will face Palmyra, the school they beat 2-1 in the quarterfinals last year. A win for GMA could set up a rematch with Villa Maria Academy, who beat them in the District 1 title game a couple weeks ago.
Pennridge continues its revenge tour in the semifinals. After beating a CB West team that knocked the Rams out of the district playoffs, Pennridge gets to face Neshaminy. Neshaminy handed the Rams their only regular season loss, 2-1, on Sept. 20.
Pope John Paul II heads into the semifinals undefeated. The Golden Panthers have won six of eight games through two state playoff matches while their opponent, Bethlehem Catholic, has won six of seven. PJP lost to Bethlehem Catholic in the 2020 state quarterfinals, 3-1. Bethlehem Catholic won the state title that season.
Below are game-by-game looks at the semifinals.
Faith Christian Academy vs. Moravian Academy >> (1-1) Faith Christian Academy faces (11-1) Moravian Academy in the PIAA-A state semifinals Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Whitehall High School.
Both sides are coming off comfortable wins in the quarterfinals. FCA handled Tulpehocken, 3-0, and Moravian Academy blanked Holy Cross, 4-0. Faith Christian outscored its opponents 17-0 through two playoff games. Moravian Academy won its opener in penalty kicks.
The winner advances to the state championship Saturday and will face the winner of (5-1) McConnellsburg and (7-1) Winchester Thurston at Eagle View Middle School at 1 p.m.
Springfield Montco vs. Phoenixville >> (1-1) Springfield Montco faces (1-2) Phoenixville in the PIAA-3A state semifinals Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Spring-Ford High School.
The Spartans won their two state playoff games by a combined score of 9-0. Phoenixville won its opener in penalty kicks before beating Cocalico, 5-1, in quarterfinals.
The winner advances to the state championship Saturday and will face the winner of (3-1) Hershey and (10-1) Cathedral Prep at Eagle View Middle School at 7 p.m.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy vs. Palmyra >> (1-2) Gwynedd Mercy Academy faces (3-1) Palmyra in the PIAA-2A state semifinals Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Governor Mifflin High School.
The Monarchs are looking to get back to the state championship game after dominating the first two rounds of the playoffs. They beat Benjamin Rush 17-0 in the opener and Northern 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Palmyra won its two games, 3-1 and 5-0.
The winner advances to the state championship Saturday and will face the winner of (1-1) Villa Maria Academy and (3-3) Mechanicsburg at Cumberland Valley High School at 1 p.m.
Pennridge vs. Neshaminy >> (1-5) Pennridge faces (1-1) Neshaminy in the PIAA-4A state semifinals Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Souderton Area High School.
The Rams are coming off back-to-back dominant performances. They beat Central, 7-0, in the first round and Central Bucks West, 5-0, in the quarterfinals. Neshaminy beat Penn Manor, 3-0, in the opener and Conestoga, 2-1 in overtime, in the quarters.
The winner advances to the state championship Saturday and will face the winner of (1-6) Owen J. Roberts and (3-2) Central Dauphin at Eagle View Middle School at 4 p.m.
Pope John Paul II vs. Bethlehem Catholic >> (1-1) Pope John Paul II faces (11-1) Bethlehem Catholic in the PIAA-3A state semifinals Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Quakertown High School.
The Golden Panthers swept Carver in the first round and beat Twin Valley in five sets in the quarterfinals. Bethlehem Catholic beat Berwick in four sets in the opener and swept Cardinal O’Hara in the quarters.
The winner advances to the state championship Saturday and will face the winner of (7-1) North Catholic and (7-3) Thomas Jefferson at Cumberland Valley High School at 3:30 p.m.
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