New CV girls soccer coach looking to change team's recent trend
It was a reccuring nightmare for the Chartiers Valley girls soccer team the past few seasons.
The Colts were unable to find their into way into the section's top three and claim a playoff berth due to late-season collapses.
In 2010, the team finished in fifth place in Section 5-AAA after a 2-4 finish to the year.
In 2011, the team finished in fourth as a 3-6-1 finish ended any postseason hopes. A four-game skid led to a fourth-place finish in 2012.
While it has been a tough streak for the team, new coach Bill Douglass feels the ability is there for the Colts to reach the WPIAL postseason this fall for the first time since 2009.
“I definitely see potential,” Douglass said. “I want this team to be organized and working hard. We have already started offseason training.”
Douglass was hired earlier this month and replaced Kelly Mehalko who resigned in October. Mehalko finished with a 25-22-2 mark while leading Chartiers Valley for three seasons.
Douglass is no stranger to Chartiers Valley. In addition to being a Spanish teacher in the middle and high schools, he got his start in coaching high school soccer 10 years ago as the middle school and freshmen boys coach.
From there he moved over to the South Park girls program, serving as the junior varsity coach before moving into an assistant role for the last four seasons.
Douglass has also served as a coach with the Century United of Pittsburgh Football Club.
“It has been a great experience coaching club teams and other high school teams,” Douglass said. “
Douglass said being a teacher at Chartiers Valley will help him hit the ground running. He would talk to the players about the sport
“As a teacher, I wanted to create a common bond with students,” Douglass said. “I was able to talk to the soccer players and ask them about how their season was going.”
Douglass said his approach and style will depend on their opponent on the field each game.
“I want the team to be intelligent and technically sound,” Douglass said.
The Colts lost seven seniors to graduation from 2012's team but return five juniors.
The rest of the roster – 26 players – were made up of sophomores and freshman.
While the season is seven months away, Douglass has already started holding open gyms and that the atmosphere has been positive.
The open gyms are optional but have been attended by a large number of players.
“You can tell the girls are excited,” Douglass said. “The girls have known me for years so there is a level of being comfortable there.”
Douglass said the focus of the open gyms has been to work on the little things. His hope is that when the season roles around, correcting the little things will not be a concern and will allow the team to focus on its opponents.
“When the season comes around, I want the girls to be able to say they gave their best effort,” Douglass said. “I want to be organized and hard working.
“A lot of times there may be an individual who thinks they are above the team. I want to make sure they understand they play for Chartiers Valley and this team and to have pride about it.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-583-6847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.