Quaker Valley's 1991 girls soccer team to be inducted into school's hall of fame
TribLIVE Sports Videos
While the 1991 Quaker Valley girls soccer team was young — 25 of the 36 players were underclassmen — a combination of talent and teamwork led to a historic season.
The Quakers finished with a 23-0 record, won a WPIAL title and were the first undefeated squad in Leetsdale in 45 years. The team also was selected as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America champion.
For its accomplishments, the team has been selected for the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2013.
“We had a really good coach (Dom Vezza) and we all played together as a team,” said Bridget Sullivan, who was one of the team's three senior captains. “We worked together as a cohesive unit over having individuals stars. Little by little, we climbed our way to the top winning one game at a time.
“It makes you feel really proud knowing we were selected for such an honor.”
Unlike today when there are three different classifications for WPIAL girls soccer, there was only one for the sport from 1983-95. But playing some of the larger schools in Western Pennsylvania didn't stop the Quakers from starting strong, as they recorded wins over Fox Chapel and North Allegheny before opening Section 1 play with a 10-0 win over North Catholic in a game where 10 different players scored.
“We were a small school going against some much bigger ones,” then-senior Emily Bikowski-Wilhelm said. “But we knew each other from playing together because of the school size. We were able to get a chemistry quickly. Every grade had players stepping up from freshmen to seniors.”
The team scored 120 goals en route to a 22-0 regular season finish, not to mention a Section 1 title and a No. 3 ranking in the NSCAA pole.
Quaker Valley opened the playoffs with a 1-0 win over Section 5 champion Ringgold. The game was decided by a second-period goal by Bridget Sullivan. It was the 16th shutout of the season by the defense.
The Quakers then downed Upper St. Clair, 2-0, in the WPIAL semifinals with goals from juniors Ann Tirimacco and Julie McDaniel.
It was a statement win for Quaker Valley when it defeated the Panthers, who had won two straight WPIAL titles and appeared in six straight title games. The win set up a WPIAL title game between Quaker Valley and Mt. Lebanon.
The teams battled at Moon Stadium one a brisk November evening. Quaker Valley goalkeeper Liz Neidlinger recorded nine saves in the first half to keep her squad alive as the Quakers recorded only two shots on goal. But in the second half, the trio of Ann Tirimacco, Angel Vezza and Jen Tedesko began to crack the strong Blue Devils defense.
With just seven minutes to go in the final period, Liz Gaadt sent a kick in from 35 yards out to wrap up the WPIAL title for the Quakers.
“I remember the night just being freezing,” Sullivan said. “The entire school was there because election day was the next day and there was no school. It was almost a surreal moment winning a close game between the best teams in the area.”
The win made the team the first undefeated team at Quaker Valley since the 1956 football team.
While the team's season came to an end with the title game, it received several postseason honors. Poister was joined by jurors Gaadt, Julie McDaniel, Liz Neidlinger and Angel Vezza as WPIAL all-stars.
The team was also recognized as the No. 1 team by the NSCAA. The team had been ranked for the entire season in the top 10 and went as high as No. 3 before defeating No. 2 ranked Mt. Lebanon.
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.
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Steelers find success vs. NFC
- Man, 19, wounded in Brighton Heights shooting
- Gorman: Central’s Wheeler ‘made the play we needed’
- Penn State notebook: Franklin maps out plan to join Big Ten elite
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- Drones hover at top of holiday wish lists
- As historic breakup nears, Alcoa works to redefine its ‘advantage’
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Batteries key to alternative energy’s success
- WPIAL Class AAAA notes: P-T unable to snap playoff skid vs. Central Catholic