Sewickley Academy girls in position for WPIAL title run
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Thanks to a strong defense, the Sewickley Academy girls soccer team is off to its best start since 2004, when it last won the WPIAL title.
Since allowing a goal in their section opener, the Panthers (13-0-1 overall, 12-0 in WPIAL Section 1-A) have held opponents to just one score, which came in a 3-1 win over Bishop Canevin on Saturday. They clinched the section title and a berth in the WPIAL playoffs by shutting out Neshannock and Quigley Catholic last week.
In a nonsection game Sept. 7, Sewickley Academy played Quaker Valley to a scoreless tie. Since then, 12 straight victories.
“I knew I had a good squad, with a lot of returning starters,” said Jessica Peluso, the head coach since 2004. “But we're doing even better than expected.
“At this point, this is the best we've done since I took over.”
In her first year on the team, Amy Kolor has been a key to Sewickley Academy's success. A senior sweeper, she joined the Panthers after transferring from Seneca Valley, where she was on the WPIAL Class AAA championship team in 2009.
“Amy is a big reason we're doing so well,” Peluso said. “She's a fantastic defender and field general with great communication skills.”
Senior center midfielder Sarah Rooney agreed Kolor has made the team stronger.
“She's good in pointing things out,” Rooney said. “You feel confident knowing she's in back.”
Kolor downplayed her role.
“Sometimes, at my position, I'm not always active,” she said. “It gets kind of boring. Rather than doing nothing, I'll help my teammates. I have the advantage of seeing the whole field, where they don't.”
Junior Maggie Dewitt has been a standout at goalie.
Sewickley Academy also has done well offensively, with 12 different players scoring goals.
Junior forward Melina George leads the team with 10 goals and eight assists. Rooney, junior forward Sophia Werner and sophomore midfielder Molly Lennen, a transfer from Mars, have five goals and three assists each.
Freshman forward Mackenzie Coles also has five goals. Junior center midfielder Ali Torrence has scored two.
Seniors Camdin Bartholomew and Sarah Straka and juniors Paige Simakas and Katelyn Ripple have received playing time as well.
With only a few regular-season games remaining, the Panthers are looking forward to the WPIAL playoffs.
“But we can't get too complacent,” Kolor said. “We have to stay on top of our game if we want momentum going into the playoffs.”
After winning the section title, the Panthers were eliminated in the WPIAL quarterfinals by Springdale a year ago.
Since 1999, Sewickley Academy has won four WPIAL titles. From 2002 to 2004, it was three-time Class AA champion.
Sewickley Academy was WPIAL Class A runner-up to Shady Side Academy in 2010, when it also was PIAA runner-up.
A three-time state finalist, Sewickley Academy was PIAA champion in 2003.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New movie studio coming to McKees Rocks
- Ex-judge in Philadelphia charged with bribery, conspiracy in sting case
- Allegheny County D.A.’s office rounding up drug suspects
- Bell Acres police investigate attempted child luring
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- One Direction bring 2015 stadium tour to Heinz Field
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Study: Renewables as green as you’d expect
- Flyers continue mastery of Penguins at Consol
- West Allegheny updating elementary schools
- Highmark seeks double-digit increase for more benefits, heavy use