ShareThis Page

West Mifflin girls soccer ready to make mark

| Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 1:51 a.m.

The passion for a winning tradition easily can be detected in Sara Allas' voice.

Patting her hands together with each syllable for effect, Allas emphasizes her desire to help turn around a West Mifflin girls soccer program that hadn't won a WPIAL section game in four seasons before finally getting three of them in 2012.

“We have the potential,” Allas said. “Now is not the time to be discouraged.”

Second-year West Mifflin coach Greg Bourke said he believes he has a special group. He's certainly familiar with this bunch, having coached most of the girls from their early years as players in the West Mifflin Soccer Club.

Bourke, whose daughter was a player for him last season in his first year as high school coach and now is an assistant at West Mifflin, was able to coax as many overall victories from the 2012 squad as the program had produced in the four previous years, when the Titans were a combined 4-62.

West Mifflin, which was 4-11 overall and 3-9 in Section 4-AA in 2012, already is 2-3 and 2-2 this season, with a home game against Belle Vernon scheduled for Wednesday.

“It's just a lot of familiarity with these players that has created some stability,” Bourne said. “Maybe I can be a little tougher than someone else can be, and maybe they can handle it better than from someone else.”

Junior left forward Taylor Lapko leads West Mifflin in scoring with seven points on three goals and four assists, challenging the school's record of 11 points in a season, set by Bourke's daughter and current assistant Nichole Hammack in 2012.

Allas, one of eight seniors on the 2013 team, has added four points on one goal and three assists, while the defense has been sharp in victories the past two games over East Allegheny, 8-0, and McGuffey, 2-0.

Goalie Dani Hasson has posted the back-to-back shutouts with help from a defense led by team captain Krystal Ondike. Both players are seniors.

“We have some experience, we have some chemistry and we have a taste of winning now,” Bourke said. “Our goal, obviously, is to make the playoffs every year.

“If we could increase our win total by four every year until we have a winning record, that would be great. I think that nine wins in this section will make the playoffs.”

With the chance of extending the team's winning streak to three squarely in view, Allas expresses exhuberance over a potential breakout season for West Mifflin.

“We lost to a Class AAA team (Allderdice), 1-0, in the first game,” she said. “We've played well in these last couple of games and we're starting to understand what it takes to be successful.

“I try 100 percent to push my teammates. It's the best feeling to win a game. We're capable of that when we come to play together as a team.”

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.