Halinka hoping Monessen girls on rebound
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For various reasons, whether because of a lack of numbers or because of federal cutbacks in education, several smaller schools have had to cut back and eliminate some middle school sports programs.
For proof of how this affects varsity programs, look no further than the Monessen Lady Greyhounds' soccer team.
Once a perennial challenger for the playoffs as recent as a few years ago, the Lady Greyhounds have struggled as of late and one key factor has been that the team has had to put players on the field who had never played before.
Such was the case last year for first-year head coach Bill Halinka, and his team only scored three goals during its 0-16 campaign.
“Without a middle school program, the development has had to take place (during varsity games),” Halinka said. “For three years we did not have a middle school team, but this is the second year of having one again.
“Lindsay Keene has done a great job with the middle school team, and you can see the development in the ninth graders from getting experience last year.”
Speaking of experience, the Lady Hounds return six starters from last year's team and 11 of the 13 returning players saw significant time.
“We are a lot better than we were at this point last year,” Halinka said. “The returning players got experience, and we have a good group of freshmen coming up.
“They will get better each year.”
While the eight-player freshman class will push for playing time, all five seniors started a year ago.
Mikayla Boone and Sarah Franccewic are middle defenders while Monet Wade is the defensive leader.
Lauren Perry and Eden Holland are strikers, and Monessen will look to be more proficient on offense.
The Lady Hounds have not scored more than one goal in 34 straight matches dating back to the 2011 season.
Junior Kiana Arvinger is the sixth returning starter, and Halinka said she is another defensive leader.
Marisa Germinario, a junior, will be the third key striker for Monessen.
Halinka also pointed out a trio of sophomores in Monique Johnson, Bailey Matush, and Alexa Vitagus as well as freshman Victoria Cooper, stating that “they will all see a lot of time.”
Monessen is in Section 2 A with Bentworth, Beth-Center, Charleroi, Chartiers-Houston, Serra Catholic, and South Allegheny.
The Lady Hounds open the season Sept. 4 when they host South Allegheny in a section tilt.
Bill Hughes is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Penguins stars Crosby, Malkin enduring playoff slump
- Penguins pushing to sell playoff tickets
- Marte’s bat, Worley’s arm show improvement in Pirates win
- Missing Sewickley teen found safe
- Charges mount for rowdy Monongahela drug suspect
- Steelers visit with Arizona State receiver Strong, claim long snapper
- Highmark asks patients to ‘Meet Dr. Right’
- Sanchez odd man out with Pirates recalling Stewart
- Arnold family back home after gas leak
- Kiski Area students reach out to community for Global Youth Service Day
- West Deer burglary suspect arrested