Share This Page

Plum breaks Central streak

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

The Plum varsity boys soccer team lost seven games in a row to Pittsburgh Central Catholic before Saturday's Section 3-AAA home contest with the Vikings.

The Mustangs were outscored 22-1 in those games.

But Plum was able to start what it hopes is a new trend with a big 2-1 victory over Central Catholic.

“It's one of the bigger wins we've had here in the past four or five years against one of the best teams in the WPIAL,” Plum head coach Mike Baleno said. “At the same time, it's just one win in the section. We need to keep winning, and that one win isn't going to put us in the playoffs.”

Central Catholic came into the game 4-0, and it had outscored its opponents 20-2. That included an 8-0 victory over Woodland Hills in its section opener.

“We played very disciplined defensively and limited their opportunities to get forward and get good chances on goal,” Baleno said. “We just didn't make a lot of mistakes.”

Senior Shane Rings gave Plum a 1-0 lead about 20 minutes into the game on an assist from fellow senior Matt Baleno.

Central Catholic got the equalizer five minutes into the second half, but Plum answered about 15 minutes later, as senior Collin Smith scored off an assist from sophomore Mike McGuire.

“It's hard to give up a goal five minutes into a half, but the guys showed a lot of resolve and heart,” coach Baleno said. “That was similar to the way we played last year. They didn't put their heads down, and they kept battling. Both teams had good scoring chances. We got that second goal, and it lifted our spirits more.”

Plum bounced back from a tough 1-1 tie at Allderdice two days earlier.

“We got together Friday and went through a lot of tactical stuff we did wrong against Allderdice,” Baleno said.

“That really made the difference against Central. We made some corrections in our positioning defensively, and that was the difference, for sure.”

Plum improved to 2-0 in section with the win, and the Mustangs were slated to face section foe Fox Chapel on Tuesday. The game was to be played past the deadline for this week's edition.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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.