Soccer standout DelGreco focuses on Gators' team goals
From an individual performance standpoint, David DelGreco is having quite a season.
However, DelGreco, a Seton-La Salle High School graduate, would rather talk about the year his team is having.
DelGreco, a senior forward on the Allegheny College men's soccer team, leads the squad in goals, with eight, and in total points, with 18.
The Gators' top offensive force, DelGreco was named Allegheny's Athlete of the Week during the first week of October.
In Allegheny's 4-1 win over Wabash on Saturday, DelGreco nailed a goal — giving him at least one in six straight games.
In his eyes, however, the most impressive stat is the 10-1-1 record the Gators had entering this week.
“I don't love all the attention; I just think it's great that I can help the team,” DelGreco said. “I'm the highest forward in the formation, so it's my job to put it in the goal.”
Allegheny head coach Angelo Panzetta said that — putting the ball into the net — is DelGreco's specialty.
“Dave is a pure finisher. He's got a good soccer mind, and he gets himself into dangerous position,” Panzetta said. “He's very savvy, and he has a way of getting to the right spot inside the box, and then being able to execute the final play.
“Dave can score in any fashion ... on a cross he can get his head on it, and he's good with both feet.”
DelGreco's scoring touch is more than his impressive natural talent, said the Gators' coach.
“He's really a hard worker,” Panzetta said. “He's not a real vocal guy, but he leads by example, by his training and professionalism. As a coach, I'd love to have 11 Daves out there.”
Coming out of Seton-La Salle, DelGreco was regarded as one of the top soccer prospects in the WPIAL. He signed with NCAA Division I American University and played his first two seasons there, but concussions and other medical issues limited his playing time.
Opting for a fresh start, DelGreco transferred to Allegheny — one of his finalists coming out of high school — before last season. Attending Allegheny felt natural for DelGreco, given both of his parents attended the college as did his brother, Bob, who played soccer for the program earlier this decade.
“The team, the coaches welcomed me right away,” DelGreco saod.
In his first season with the Gators in 2011, DelGreco tied for the team lead with six goals as they went 11-7-1 overall.
This year, though, he expected more from himself and the team. And thus far it appears those expectations are being met.
“This is definitely what I expected to happen this season, and it's definitely what the coaches expected,” DelGreco said. “From our team last year, we lost only a couple of players. This year there are a bunch of seniors, and we all kind of had the feeling that this is our time.”
DelGreco and Panzetta agreed that the goal for this season is qualifying for the NCAA Division III tournament.
“We're trying to get into the tournament,” DelGreco said. “I feel like, if we can get into the NCAA tournament, we're good enough to fight our way through it. Getting there is the hard part.”
The easiest way for a team to do that is to win its conference.
At press time, Allegheny was undefeated in the North Coast Athletic Conference at 2-0-1; the team was scheduled to play Wooster yesterday, Wednesday.
However, even if the Gators don't win the NCAC, they still could qualify for the tournament as an at-large team.
“I'm very pleased with where we are up until this point,” Panzetta said. “This year, we have an outstanding conference. Five of the top 10 in our region are from the North Coast.
“We've put ourselves in a position where, if we don't win the conference, we could be an at-large team, but you want to win the conference. That's the only way to guarantee it. Every game left is going to be a dog fight.”
Allegheny visits Kenyon this Saturday with the game set to start at 3 p.m.
Brian Knavish is a freelance writer.