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Serra girls soccer rebuilding on the move

| Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012,

Serra Catholic may have lost nine seniors from a team that won its second consecutive section title, but the Eagles aren't about to alter their goals.

“The section is always tough, with Charleroi, Bentworth and Chartiers-Houston,” coach Ed Manfredi said. “I would like to see us win the section again and go further than the first round of the playoffs and maybe get into that second round and possibly the state level. I think we can do it.”

To rebuild Serra Catholic into a girls soccer team that can compete with the top-flight programs, the Eagles are working from the goal line outward, beginning with sophomore goalkeeper Georgie Pedos, who transferred from McKeesport at the end of the 2011-12 school year.

“About a month ago, I was told we had a kid from McKeesport that could be your goalie,” Manfredi said, “so I'm going have her for the next three years.”

Pedos will have a solid group in front of her. The Eagles return junior all-section defender Lauren Czerwein to join three seniors on the backside — Jessica Manfredi, Molly Bernick and Brooke McCallister.

“If we stay away from injuries we should be fine,” coach Manfredi said.

And maybe have enough to make waves in the WPIAL playoffs.

Serra Catholic was one of the first beneficiaries of the PIAA expansion to three classifications in girls soccer in 2010-11. Prior to that, the Eagles were often overmatched in several sections that featured perennial powerhouses like Seton-La Salle, Quaker Valley and South Park.

All that changed in 2010, as Serra went 16-4-0, won the section title and claimed its first-ever postseason victory. But last year the Eagles were one-and-done after dropping a disappointing 4-1 match to eventual WPIAL and PIAA finalist Springdale.

“Enrollment-wise they're all the same as us and, in Single-A, if you get four or five girls on a team, you're OK,” Manfredi said. “When you get to the playoffs, you're going to be playing the big boys and it's going to get a lot harder.”

Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kbarnes@tribweb.com or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.

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