NESHANNOCK TWP. — Coach Chris Ellis’ Mercer High boys soccer team closed out another successful season Saturday with a 6-0 loss to District 7 champion Winchester Thurston in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals at Neshannock High School.
Winchester Thurston, which led 3-0 at halftime, improved to 21-0-1 with the win while the Mustangs finished 12-9.
Riverhounds Academy product Alex Hauskrecht and Grant Robinson had hat tricks to lead the way for the Bears.
Mercer won its second straight District 10 championship this season with a 4-1 win over Wilmington. It was the program’s 5th overall crown. The Region 1 champion Hounds beat Mercer (2-1 and 1-0) during the regular season.
The Mustangs advanced to Saturday’s state quarterfinals with a 4-0 win over District 6 champion St. Joseph’s Catholic in the opening round on Tuesday. Mercer is 3-5 all-time in PIAA playoff games.
Last year, the Mustangs captured the D-10 title and were scheduled to face District 6 champion Belleville Mennonite in the 1st round of the state playoffs, but had to forfeit due to COVID-19 concerns.
Winchester Thurston won the program’s 2nd WPIAL title this season with a 3-1 win over Greensburg Central Catholic. The Bears’ first soccer crown was in 2014. They advanced to the PIAA championship game in 2019, but suffered a 4-1 loss to Moravian Academy.
Winchester Thurston advances to Tuesday’s PIAA semifinals to face Eden Christian, the No. 3 seed from District 7. Eden Christian knocked off D-7 runners-up Greensburg Central Catholic, 1-0, on Saturday at West Allegheny High School.
Seniors on Mercer’s roster are Tyler Delorenzo, T.J. Ferrans, Max Graul, Brady Holzworth, and Liam Mount.