SSA soccer team showing confidence
By Marty Stewart
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
If the Shady Side Academy boys soccer team needed a confidence builder heading into section play, the WPIAL Class AA Indians got it with a 2-1 win over Class AAA Fox Chapel last Thursday.
“It was an amazing win for us,” SSA coach James Meara said. “It's one of the biggest wins I've had as a coach. Fox Chapel is loaded with talent. It was just a great win for our team with everybody pitching in and doing their job.
“We started two freshman, Matt Rytel and Gray Garrard, who played beyond their years. Conan Smith, Chris Zhang and Berk Alper were solid at the back along with Dan Marous.
“Our captain, Mike Mathieson, led the team all night on the field and Mike Concordia and Gray Pipitone worked tirelessly up top. Evan Brazinski and Chinedu Okoroafor were outstanding in central midfield and controlled the game from start to finish.
“Brendan Leech in goal came up with some huge saves for the team to keep us in the lead.”
Okoroafor and Brazinski scored for the Indians.
Despite losing six starters from last year's WPIAL quarterfinalist team, Meara is optimistic this season.
“We started off with a disappointing loss to West Allegheny but bounced back to beat New Brighton and, now, Fox Chapel,” he said. “We had a little meeting after the loss, in which we played poorly, and the team realized that they had to step it up on the field.”
Meara said it appears that the meeting worked.
“They've grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck,” he said. “We're putting bodies in front of the ball and playing well.”
The Indians have four seniors on the team — Mathieson, Blake Beckemeyer, Perry Cao and Shivom Bharill.
The strong junior class is led by Brazinski, Concordia, Zhang, Okoroafor, Alper, Marous, Pipitone, Jason Weis, Sean Beckford and Josh Tobin.
Smith and Leech are sophomores.
Meara thinks the team is ready for a tough section battle.
“The kids have seen what they can achieve,” he said. “Our section will be strong, even with Hampton moving up to AAA. Mars will be the favorite and Knoch is always tough. We have to play well and avoid injuries.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or email@example.com.
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.
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins’ radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- Ukrainians steel to resist Russian aggression
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Greensburg bishop’s time at helm draws to a close
- IUP students have raucous early St. Patrick’s Day celebration
- Obama losing close adviser to end 9 years of service
- Pitt rallies in final seconds of regulation en route to OT win at Clemson