South Allegheny girls soccer looks to build on last season's exploits
TribLIVE Sports Videos
South Allegheny girls soccer coach Jesse MacPherson could not have asked for much more from his team in 2012, when the Gladiators reached all of their goals.
Yet, this season they're setting their sights a little higher.
After going undefeated through the regular season, breezing to a Section 2-A championship and winning its first playoff game over Ellis School, South Allegheny's season came to an abrupt end in the quarterfinals with an 8-0 loss to Shady Side Academy.
“For us, it was a very successful season,” MacPherson said. “We had never won a playoff game, never won our section, so we met all the goals we set in the preseason. Even though the last loss was pretty ugly, it didn't take away from the season for us.
“Our goals are to win the section again, go undefeated in the regular season again and this year we want to win two playoff games. … We want to get to the next step, if not more.”
The Gladiators return almost the entire lineup from last year's 17-1 squad, led by senior three-time all-section center midfielder Audra Lewis.
“From the time she was a freshman, she was one of the strongest players on the field,” MacPherson said. “She's very strong on the ball, she wins every ball in the air, her touch has gotten tremendously better. … She's unselfish, sees the other players well and she's a great finisher.”
Lewis will be joined by another returning all-section player, forward Amber Brownfield, as well as junior forward Nina Tyszkiewicz. MacPherson believes the Gladiators' offense will effectively complement their defense, a unit that surrendered only eight goals in the 2012 regular season.
“We have a strong defense, but we also have a very quick-paced offense,” MacPherson said. “We have a lot of speed up top, and we're very strong at the center midfield.”
After entering last year's playoffs as a No. 5 seed despite a perfect regular-season mark, the Gladiators have beefed up their nonsection schedule this season with the likes of Seton-La Salle (twice) and Bishop Canevin.
If they can impress in those games, MacPherson said he hopes his team can earn a higher seed if the Gladiators are able to return to the playoffs.
“Our schedule was a little weak last year, and I think a fifth seed being undefeated reflected that,” he said. “If we can beat those teams, then I think we're going to get more respect.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.
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.
- Ex-Va. lawmaker plans to wed teen in sex scandal
- Westmoreland used car dealers indicted in fraud
- Struggling Pirates SS Mercer finding himself out on infield’s left side
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Mon-Yough communities prepare for Memorial Day
- Authority sees new focus for county airport
- Starkey: Patriots’ legacy forever stained
- West Mifflin adds staff for summer lunch program
- Plum witnesses seen entering grand jury building in Dormont
- Robber hits White Oak store
- Pileup sends 2 to hospital, shuts down highway