North Allegheny girls soccer enjoying sweet start
By Jason Mackey
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 11:03 p.m.
Watch out for the North Allegheny girls soccer team, specifically senior goalkeeper Maddie Martin.
And that also means at the concession stand.
“We like to compare, ‘Do you eat fried chicken before games or chocolate?' ” said Martin, who has six shutouts in 10 chances for the undefeated Tigers. “We have fun with it, but I honestly think all those calories help us play better.”
While coach Danielle Borkowski isn't likely to copyright her goalkeeper's pregame diet, a constant splurge that has also included pizza, pepperoni rolls and milkshakes, it's hard to argue with the results considering how dominant the Tigers have been in the defensive zone.
Martin allowed her first goal to a section opponent during Monday night's 6-1 win at North Hills and has given up just four in 10 matches so far for North Allegheny (10-0, 6-0 in Section 2-AAA).
“I think they're starting to believe they're good players,” Borkowski said. “They're working together, jelling and becoming a better team.”
Will it be enough to push NA past the first round of the WPIAL playoffs, the place where the Tigers' season has stalled in seven of the past nine years?
Junior defender Emily Lyon thinks so.
“Our goal right now is to win the section and to go a lot further in playoffs than we did last year,” said Lyon, who's one of seven returning starters from a team that finished 12-6 but lost to Gateway, 3-0, in the first round. “We know we're better than being eliminated in the first round.”
If nothing else, the Tigers are a different team than last year.
With 2012 leading scorer Maddie Layman, an All-WPIAL midfielder, now at Duquesne University, the scoring is more spread out.
Forward Amanda Miller and midfielder Savana Yurick lead the way with six goals and five assists apiece. Lyon has five goals. Midfielder Alexa Mermigas has four goals and three assists, forward Lauren Briggs three and three.
“A lot of them are what I like to call ‘universal players,' ” Borkowski said. “They're athletic, they know the game, and they can step in. They don't care; as long as they're on the field.”
Lyon anchors a back line that also includes Monica Pike inside. Hannah Stoof, Gabby Smychynsky, Gabby McFarlane and Angela Marisco rotate at outside back.
Martin made nine saves in a 1-0 win at Hampton on Sept. 18. She made six more three nights later vs. Seneca Valley in a 1-0 win.
All of this while maintaining a pregame diet that's more befitting of a birthday party than a soccer team's coming out party.
“I don't run very much, but I think everyone else just deals with it,” Martin said. “We're used to it at this point.
“We try to keep it as not serious as possible before games, so when we get on the field, we're all serious and ready to go.”
Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.
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.
- Southmoreland boys team overcame much in playoff run
- Shady Side Academy soccer players honored
- Seneca Valley soccer captains savor one last match