Playoffs are the main goal for Butler girls soccer team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Butler girls soccer team's 8-8-1 record last season was objectively average.
But for a program that had won nine total games in the preceding three years and hasn't posted a winning record since 2005, it represented a significant step in the growth process.
Now, coach Steve Perri wants a winning season — and more.
“I would say the team's main goal this year — and I think it should be a pretty achievable one for us — would be a playoff berth,” he said.
“Then, obviously, if we won one playoff game, we'd have probably been exactly where we expected to be, maybe even a bit further.”
To do that, he'll rely primarily on seniors Rachel Weyand and Macy Stalnaker, for both production and leadership.
Weyand will move into a more defensive role this season after playing midfield and forward a year ago.
Perri said he hopes to see her push the attack from the back and pick up key points where she can.
Stalnaker will be looked to as an anchor of the offense. The West Virginia-bound forward was Butler's leading scorer in 2012 with 13 goals.
“We hope that she gives us the same amount of production and possibly a little bit more,” Perri said.
“If she does do that, I don't think that our goals are at all out of reach.”
Beyond those two players, Perri hopes added depth can make a difference for a Golden Tornado team that finished 3-8-1 in WPIAL Class-AAA Section 2 last year.
Butler will replace four departed seniors with 16 freshmen. And while Perri doesn't expect any one in particular to make a big impact right away, he expects some to work into starting roles by the end of the season.
Most importantly, he said he'd feel comfortable with many of them spelling starters from time to time, a luxury he didn't always have last season.
Stalnaker and Weyand will be among those tasked with bringing the underclassmen along, and Stalnaker plans to lead with an unselfish attitude.
“I am hoping to step up not only in practices but games, hopefully helping other people score and thinking of others, not just myself,” she said.
If her efforts pay off, Perri hopes Butler can avoid wearing down late in games as he believes it did last season.
With a deeper bench, his offensive star is confident more complete efforts should be in store, which could be the determining factor late in games.
“I think we have a talented, more solid team than any of the others in the section,” Stalnaker said.
“And I'm hoping we can just pull through, be more physically fit playing the whole game, all out.”
Adam Bittner 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.
- Norwin boys soccer sets sights high
- Under new head coach, Franklin Regional boys hope to stay at top of section
- Senior-laden Pine-Richland boys soccer seeks turnaround
- Shaler boys chasing elusive postseason nod
- Plum girls soccer hopes to build on strong end to ’14
- Franklin Regional girls soccer gears up for section title defense
- Plum grad back to lead boys soccer team
- With new head coach, Gateway boys soccer hopes to continue rise
- Gateway girls soccer seeks return to WPIAL playoffs
- Girls soccer preview: In addition to 59-goal scorer Cartwright, WPIAL champion GCC to feature more variety on offense
- Cameron hopes to turn Charleroi Area around