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Fox Chapel girls soccer optimistic as year starts

| Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, 8:46 p.m.

Last season, the Fox Chapel Area High School girls soccer team fell just short of claiming the Section 3-AAA title.

The Foxes finished at 9-2-1 in the section and 14-4-1 overall.

Despite losing four seniors, coach Erik Duffy is optimistic.

“So far, so good,” he said. “We've done well in our scrimmages. We scored five goals against Deer Lakes in a scrimmage that was cut to 32 minutes because of the weather.

“We also scrimmaged Butler and won, 1-0. We're returning some valuable players from last year.”

Chief among those are all-section players Jessie Thiessen (F), a senior, and juniors Lauren Kelly (C/Mid) and Theresa Scheiffarth (C/Back).

“They are strong players that know the game well,” Duffy said.

Also returning is four-year starter Yayoi Furuhata (C/Mid), junior defenders Sarah Friedland and Celine Leone, junior Janelle DeBaldo (M/Def) and sophomore Emma Slevin (Mid).

Duffy has 20 players on the team and many of them are freshmen.

“We have a very good freshman class coming in and we may be starting three or four of them,” he said.

One of the freshmen who will be starting will be goalkeeper Elayna Burdelski.

“It's tough having a freshman starting in goal but we're confident in Elayna,” Duffy said. “We're looking for her to keep getting better with each game.”

The Foxes will be seeing some new opponents in their section games this year. Penn Hills, Plum, Gateway and Woodland Hills remain in the section. Allderdice and Oakland Catholic have been added.

“There's a lot of talent in our section,” Duffy said. “We feel that we have the talent to compete.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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