With losing streak behind them, Valley girls in position to have best season ever
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When they recalled last year's momentous win earlier this week, several members of Valley's girls soccer team first described the extreme elation that followed. Screaming, hugging — not for a championship but for a regular-season, nonsection game.
Under the circumstances, those reactions made sense. But the Vikings no longer celebrate that way.
They now expect a degree of success.
A new era is under way at Valley. At 3-3 overall and 1-3 in Section 2-AA, the team is off to the best start in its brief history, which dates back to 2002. Four wins will match Valley's all-time high for a season. But the Vikings, none of whom are seniors, believe they can break far more ground than that this fall.
“One of the things the Valley program really never had was girls who played soccer outside of school,” fourth-year coach John Macura said. “But now we're seeing that age and that group of girls who played with organizations such as Tri-City.
“They all realize that we're a young team. Just because we do have some skill and some talent, we're not going to be able to change things over night. It's going to take time.”
Even knowing that, he added, “I never would've imagined us being 3-3 through six games.”
On Sept. 14, 2012, Valley ended a 96-game losing streak by beating St. Joseph, 3-1, on the road. The Vikings finished the year 3-15 overall.
“We were the laughingstock of the athletic department for the longest time,” junior forward Dawn Dilliott said. “But as soon as we beat the streak, we finally had some hope. People were high-fiving us in the hallway and asking us when the games are.”
With the 96-game slide out of the way, the Vikings addressed the next item on their to-do list, and last week, they snapped a 75-game section losing streak by edging Indiana, 2-1, in overtime. Freshman center midfielder Samantha Chambers fired a shot in from 20-plus yards out for the game-winner against the Little Indians (3-5, 0-4).
“Let's not try to get too cocky, but let's focus on getting more than just one section win, like two or three,” Chambers said of Valley's attitude and goals going forward. “Then maybe later in the future, go for the finals and a championship, or maybe just beat (perennial WPIAL powerhouse and section foe) Mars.”
Starting goalkeeper Kaitlin Capo is another freshman with her head in the right place and a healthy soccer history.
“The losing streak is just behind us now,” Capo said. “It's nothing to worry about anymore. … It's still there motivating us because we don't want this anymore. But it's in the past.”
Junior forward Neala Shawfield heard about the current freshmen and other upcoming players from her younger brother. She marveled at some of the newcomers — Shawfield said Chambers' nickname is “Superwoman” because “she works magic with the ball.”
Like the other girls, she began to imagine how high Valley can climb by the time she graduates.
“We decided that we can take this positive energy and do something with it,” Shawfield said. “We can keep working hard. This is a building block, we can work with this.”
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.
- Quaker Valley boys soccer team has work cut out
- Fox Chapel boys soccer looks to replace 10 graduates with talent-laden group
- Sewickley Academy boys soccer nearly starts from scratch
- Karns City coach well-versed in team’s winning tradition
- LV girls soccer looks to get back to playoffs
- Derry girls soccer continues to show improvement