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Thomas Jefferson boys wrap up season tied for fourth place in section play

| Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
South Hills Record
Integral players on the Thomas Jefferson boys' soccer team this season included, from left, Mike Redmond, a junior defender; Evon Danscak, a senior midfielder shown controlling the ball against a Belle Vernon opponent; and Derek Rothey, a sophomore forward.
South Hills Record
South Hills Record
South Hills Record
Michael 'Doc' Kulish has been head coach of the Thomas Jefferson boys' soccer team for 20 years.

The Thomas Jefferson boys' varsity soccer team was not able to string together any semblance of a winning streak during the 2012 season.

The Jaguars never won more than two games in a row, and never lost more than two games in succession.

The local squad ended up tied for fourth place with Elizabeth Forward in Section 3AA with a 5-6-1 slate, and 8-9-1 overall.

“Unfortunately, we did not achieve our goal, which was to make the playoffs,” Michael “Doc” Kulish, TJ's veteran head coach, said. “We had key starting players out during many important section games with injuries, including concussions. This severely affected our goal production for the year.”

Thomas Jefferson generated 29 goals in 18 games, while allowing 37 goals. The Jaguars ended the season on a promising note, winning three of their final four games.

The local squad edged Keystone Oaks, 2-1, and blanked Greensburg Salem, 3-0, in its final two contests.

“We are looking forward to a very promising season next year,” Kulish said, “in that the junior varsity team had a winning season.

“And, although we are losing 13 members of the varsity squad, 11 lettermen will be returning for the 2013 season.”

Jake T. Prosser, a senior forward, was the Jaguars' leading scorer this season with seven goals, and was complemented by sophomore midfielder Mahesh Dhaubhadel's five goals.

Senior midfielder Evon Danscak, senior forward Quinton Gardner and sophomore midfielder Nick Burkett netted three goals apiece, while Luke Good, a junior forward, and Matt Prezioso, a freshman forward, chipped in with two goals apiece.

Senior midfielder Severin Scott, sophomore forward Pat Walsh and senior forward Mike Cocuzzi rounded out the Jaguars' scoring with one goal apiece.

Danscak, Scott and Good served as co-captains this year. Danscak also is a placekicker on Thomas Jefferson's varsity football team.

Danscak, Good and Burkett all scored for the Jaguars in a 3-0 win versus Greensburg Salem in their regular-season finale.

Gardner, with seven, and senior midfielder Jake P. Prosser, with four, led the team in assists this season. Prosser was nominated and will receive the National Soccer Coaches of America Association Senior Excellence Award in Soccer.

“This is presented to a senior for outstanding contributions not only on the soccer pitch but within the school and community,” Kulish said.

Thomas Jefferson shut out four opponents this season — Kiski School (3-0), Steel Valley (2-0, 2-0), West Mifflin (0-0) and Greensburg Salem (3-0) — and was blanked six times.

“We had five team shutouts with a combination of three goalkeepers — Charlie Scharbo, Asher Williams and Mac Stuncard,” Kulish said.

Scharbo is a junior; Williams and Stuncard are seniors.

The Jaguars' defensive corps consisted of seniors Jared Raszewski and Nick Oriss; junior Mike Redmond; plus sophomores Matt Wardlaw, Eric Coholan, Rico Braun and Derek Rothey.

Two other players who had significant roles, both offensively and defensively, were seniors Chris Crane and Josh Dalton, who played various positions throughout the season.

“Our two ninth-grade managers, Austin Rauso and Garrett Dowd, did an outstanding job,” Kulish said.

Individual awards, which include offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year and the coach's award, will be presented at the team banquet on Nov. 4.

Kulish completed his 20th year as head coach at Thomas Jefferson. His career coaching record is 285-130-22.

South Park (18-0, 12-0), the only boys' soccer team to finish the 2012 regular season undefeated, Belle Vernon (9-3) and West Mifflin (6-4-2) finished in first, second and third place in Section 3AA.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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