Shady Side Academy ready for new season
The Shady Side Academy girls soccer team made it to the WPIAL semifinals last season and finished with a 16-5 record.
They will try to duplicate that success despite the graduation of two All-WPIAL defenders, Molly Magovern and Ann Pooley.
“We hated to lose them,” coach Caswell Nilsen said.
But the Indians will have plenty of firepower returning.
Along with senior captains Holly Stewart, midfield; Felicia Tissenbaum, defense; and Lia Winter, midfield, the Indians will return six other starters. Juniors Olivia Cochran, goalie; high-scoring Maggie Scott, forward; Zoe Schoen, midfield; along with sophomores Kara Pooley, midfield; Tori Winter, defense; and Calsey Holshue, midfield, will bring a wealth of experience to the field.
“This will be an interesting year for us,” Nilsen said. “Last year we were ravaged by injuries, and still had a successful season. We'll definitely be in the hunt for the section title, but we are in the strongest section in Class A. If we remain uninjured, we may have a shot at the WPIAL finals.
“We do have three returning All-WPIAL players: Felicia Tissenbaum, Zoe Schoen (who was injured for much of last season), and Maggie Scott. It is my hope that our goalie, Olivia Cochran, will be all-section this year.”
Scott holds the girls scoring record at SSA and last year she had 25 goals during the regular season and added nine more in the playoffs. Tissenbaum, who will play lacrosse at Stanford has been all-section for three years and All-WPIAL for the last two. Winter was injured last season and Nilsen is hoping for a quick return to form.
“She's an all-around nuisance to the other teams,” Nilsen said. “She's strong, smart and fast. If we play her up top with Maggie, they will be lethal. But we may need her in the midfield.”
The Indians will be strong in goal with Cochran.
“She's matured a great deal in the past two years,” Nilsen said. “I think she can make the All-WPIAL team.”
Nilsen also thinks he has an up-and-coming star in freshman Olivia Cotter.
“She's a player to watch. She loves playing in traffic on the field and she has a lovely touch,” Nilsen said. “She will start on defense but will be moved around.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.