Kiski Area leads local teams into soccer season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With expectations low last fall, a young, defensively-staunch Kiski Area boys soccer squad defied the odds to earn its first outright section title and a berth in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals.
Returning nine players who regularly saw playing time last season, the 2012 version of the Cavaliers may have a new obstacle to overcome: expectation.
“We're definitely shooting to get into the playoffs again. Now, that's just become a regular objective,” Kiski Area coach Bob Wright said.
“We're playing well enough that that's a simple, basic thing to shoot for.”
And that's not all.
“After that, we want to be shooting for the section,” Wright said.
“We've got two in a row now. We'd like to have another banner to put into the gymnasium.”
Despite the ambitious outlook, Wright knows things are never that easy.
Even with the high number of players returning, the Cavaliers are still young and are looking to replace three key graduating seniors, including 2011 Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year Kyle Terrill and VND all-star selection James Winiesky.
Wright admitted the team doesn't have a natural leader yet but was upbeat on the prospect of one — or more — being determined during the early stages of the season.
“We're really looking toward a lot of players acting as leaders,” he said. “They have a real perspective on things and real good attitudes, but youth does have its disadvantages.”
Goalkeeper Brandon Smail was a revelation in his first season as a starter last year.
The athletic junior earned eight shutouts while allowing only 10 goals. Sophomores Dakota Lange and Zach Wilson also return, having led the team with eight goals apiece last year. Junior Matt Dziasdoz will be relied upon as the midfield fulcrum of the suddenly attack-minded Cavaliers.
• With perennial power Hampton moving from Class AA to AAA, the battle for the Section 2-AA title will be as wide open as ever. Mars, Shady Side Academy and Knoch are immediate contenders, while Highlands could be a dark horse.
• After securing the Section 1-AA championship, Burrell coach T.J. Trozzi hopes to see his team continue its winning ways, and do so with some flair.
“We're going to use a lot of possession, no more long-ball,” he said. “I think it shows that we're trying to make ourselves better instead of the typical kick-and-run game.”
• Still in search of its first section title, St. Joseph is hoping to compete for the Section 2-A crown and overcome local rival Springdale and improved Riverview.
“Springdale's always good, I think Vincentian Academy will be near the top ... and Riverview will be better,” St. Joseph coach Matt Skoda said. “But this year, I think we have a good chance to make a run at the section. … I always set the bar high, I don't feel like there's any point in just aiming for a certain number of wins or anything.”
Stephen Catanese 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.
- Steelers’ Martavis Bryant facing four-game suspension
- Pennsylvania warming to bring ‘profound’ changes, Penn State report says
- Class AAAA breakdown: Wealth of talent places target on Central Catholic
- Animal Rescue League, miffed at Vick signing, moves gala from Heinz Field
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin leaving `light on’ for injured players
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle mulling rotation options
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Two flown from Bullskin accident scene
- New football uniforms can change perceptions, help establish identity of new program
- Gorman: Don’t judge WPIAL by the cover
- Kane: Emails released not everything she wants to make public