Quaker Valley learns from season-opening tournament
By Nathan Smith
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
While the Quaker Valley boys soccer team was unable to find a win at the 2013 East-West Classic, coach Gene Klein said the overall goal of the tournament was reached.
“It gives you so much information on what we need to do,” Klein said. “We could play a lot of teams, but I told them we would much rather take the challenge of facing two teams from the eastern part of the state. It makes you elevate your game quickly and prepares you for the rigors of the section.”
The 21st annual event made its debut at Highmark Stadium this season. The two-day event featured three local teams — Quaker Valley, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair — squaring off against opponents from eastern Pennsylvania: Exeter, Fleetwood and Wilson.
The Quakers opened play on Friday with a scoreless tie against Fleetwood.
“It was a pretty even game,” Klein said. “They had a couple of opportunities. We had the best opportunity when a shot went off the crossbar. It was a little shaky at times, but we battled and that is what we want to see earlier on in the season.”
The Quakers then fell to Wilson, 2-1, on Saturday. Junior Landon Narkevic scored for Quaker Valley with an assist from junior Adam Richert. Klein said he was happy with his squad's performance outside of the 10 minutes before and the 10 minutes following halftime.
“Every year you have a new team and they have to be able to deal with those moments on the field,” Klein said. “You are always going to go through bad stretches, and you need to try and escape without giving up a goal.
“For the most part, we battled during those stretches but didn't play very good soccer.”
Not getting a win at the East-West Classic has no correlation with the Quakers having a down season. The team went 0-2 at the event in 2005 and went on to be the PIAA runner-up. The Quakers also lost two games in 2007 and ‘09 but still managed to win their section's title.
The games will allow Klein to assess where his team needs improvement heading into WPIAL play as it tries to defend its WPIAL Class AA title.
“I think we need to continue to play a little quicker,” Klein said. “We have to get the ball off our feet a little faster and play balls a little earlier. Defensively, we are not too bad, but there is certainly some gaps we need to correct.”
Quaker Valley opened the season with a pair of wins at the Avonworth Tournament. The Quakers defeated Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 8-0, on Friday and Highlands, 5-1, on Saturday.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at |firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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