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Scoring threats lead Connellsville girls soccer this season

Jason Black | Daily Courier - Angela Bloom could provide some offense for the Connellsville girls soccer team this season.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Jason Black  |  Daily Courier</em></div>Angela Bloom could provide some offense for the Connellsville girls soccer team this season.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates second baseman Brock Holt singles during the first inning against Houston Tuesday September 4, 2012 at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates second baseman Brock Holt singles during the first inning against Houston Tuesday September 4, 2012 at PNC Park.

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Of note

•Jeff Puskar is in his ninth season as coach of the Connellsville girls soccer team.

•Puskar will be assisted by Paige Puskar, his daughter and former player at Connellsville.

•Connellsville opens Section 1-AAA play Wednesday at home against Hempfield.

Top high school sports
Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, 12:03 a.m.
 

A more prolific offense could be one of the strongest aspects of the Connellsville girls soccer team in 2012.

The Falcons started the season with a 5-4 win over Bentworth at the Fayette County Coaches Association Tournament, and coach Jeff Puskar saw plenty of positives, plus a few negatives.

“We've had two scrimmages and in the game against Bentworth, we've scored a lot of goals,” Puskar said. “But some things have been exposed defensively.”

Puskar is hopeful that the defensive side of Connellsville's game will come together, but he's especially excited about the offensive potential the team possesses.

“In the past, it's been rough scoring goals, but we have players that can do that,” Puskar said.

“Improvement is always what we are looking for, but we're also looking to play some exciting soccer.”

Juniors Ashton Grimm and Caitlin Fess, as well as sophomore Angela Bloom, are considered to be top scoring threats for the Falcons.

Connellsville has some experienced players in the back with seniors Paige Visocky and Sydney Soberdash joining juniors Brittany Craig and Madison DiAlesandro on defense.

Freshman Keirsten Andolino could also have an impact on the defense.

In goal, there appears to be a three-way battle for the starting position between sophomore Ally Ramsey, junior Marian Chearney and freshman Ashley Capo.

“We'll see who steps up,” Puskar said.

“The opportunity is there and we need somebody to take advantage.”

Connellsville will also look to a number of midfielders to contribute both offensively and defensively throughout the season.

Seniors Aria Kreinbrook and Jessica White are solid defensive midfielders. Seniors Leah Lilley, Alyssa Ritenour and Elizabeth Becker, as well as sophomore Margaux Klingensmith, are expected to make an impact as outside midfielders.

The Falcons will compete in Section 1-AAA, but the section has changed with Kiski Area and Franklin Regional replacing Laurel Highlands and Albert Gallatin.

Connellsville finished with five wins last season, but only three were section wins. The Falcons finished fifth in the section last year.

“Obviously, we want to get better in the section, and the section is strong,” Puskar said. “But we don't want to use that as an excuse. We have to beat the teams we play.”

Soberdash, one of 10 seniors on the team, is confident that the team will be proud of its effort.

“I'm looking forward to coming together as a team,” Soberdash said. “Every game is a learning experience, and we'll always try our best.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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