The Shaler boys soccer team is hoping last year's struggles can be put to good use this season.
The team returns seven starters, three of which are defenders.
Shaler coach Nick Russo will be counting on returning players Nick Polito a three-year starter and leading scorer, Ryan Landry, Justin Landry, Scott Stuthers, John Colarusso, Noah Elamin and Justin Duffy.
“We have about five guys who have some experience who didn't start last year and a couple of nice freshmen, too,” Russo said. “I am pretty excited about what we have coming back, and a bunch of good kids who work hard. They are coachable and I think we can compete.”
The game that highlighted last season was an upset win over section champion Pine-Richland. That win proved the Titans could have a bright future.
“Last year was a long one and my first as a head coach,” Russo said. “We got things going and finally figured things out late in the season. The Pine-Richland win was huge.”
The Titans lost seven games in the final three minutes last season, and Russo said that winning half of those close games would have made a difference.
“We have got to be mentally tougher (to pull those games out),” he said.
Another positive according to the coach is the leadership that returns.
“We have four returning seniors and our leading scorer is back as a sophomore,” Russo said. “We will be more productive and I can not wait to see how this all will fit together.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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