Serra soccer team looking to build on 2012 success
By Dave Mackall
Published: Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The first WPIAL section championship was a blast for the Serra Catholic boys soccer team despite seeing its 2012 playoff run stall in the Class A semifinals round.
Leading goal scorer Mike Mercea is gone, but the Eagles weren't expecting a letdown when their season began over the weekend at the Chartiers-Houston Tournament.
“The team feels very confident, but there's a lot of work to do,” Serra Catholic coach Don Sabol said.
While Mercea and Josh Lohr have departed — the two combined for 40 goals in 2012 — Serra Catholic (1-1) returns its second-leading scorer in senior forward Tyler Grebur, who logged three goals Sunday in a 5-0 victory over Chartiers-Houston.
“He's a great player, offensively,” Sabol said. “He's smart. He's big and strong. He's not selfish.”
Grebur accepts the challenge of leading a team that he says can match or better last year's 15-4-1 record, which included a pair of playoff losses to end the season.
“If we keep our minds straight and don't worry about last year, we're going to be fine,” said Grebur, who scored 16 goals as a junior in 2012. “We've got great guys here. We're just looking to get some better chemistry with this team because it's a different team than last year's.”
With chemistry being a work in progress, the Eagles at the moment must rely on the leadership presence of Grebur (scoring) and fellow seniors, midfielder Nick Likar (playmaking) and Grant Taylor (defending), for continued success.
Sabol agrees that discovering chemistry with this bunch is a priority to help make up for the notable loss of offense from last year's team.
“We're strong down the middle with Nick Likar. He's our quarterback. He sets things up,” Sabol said. “We're trying to find outside help. No one's really stepped up yet.”
Serra Catholic is coming off a strong year that led to a share of the Section 4-A championship with Greensburg Central Catholic, and Sabol senses a passionate desire for more success as his sixth season as coach is under way.
He knows the Eagles are somewhat in a rebuilding mode, though he is quick to point out that they're not alone.
“A lot of teams have lost players, just like us,” he said. “We're trying to get it together. Our team has been progressively getting better each year. This is a tough section, but we've been able to hold our own.”
Grebur, too, is eager for another postseason run, and said there's no thought of a letdown.
“If we start to go through struggles, we're not going to worry,” he said. “If we find ourselves down, we'll have to experiment with things and try to pull together.
“Going deep in the playoffs last year was fun, but we can't be satisfied with just that. Losing out at a chance to play for a championship taught us something. You can't take any teams for granted.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.