Dhaubhadel's offensive exploits spark Thomas Jefferson boys squad

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Mahesh Dhaubhadel, a junior midfielder, has picked up where he left off last season for Thomas Jefferson's boys' soccer team.

Dhaubhadel, who was an all-section selection in 2012, led the Jaguars to a 2-2-1 record in five Section 3-AA games with a team-leading five goals and three assists.

Thomas Jefferson ran past Yough last week, 5-1, behind Dhaubhadel's four-goal explosion.

“Mahesh has been moved to the forward position for some games and has proven to be very productive in goal-performance and assists,” Michael “Doc” Kulish, the Jaguars' head coach, said. “He is a very gifted athlete with a tremendous amount of soccer skills. He interacts well with the team and as captain he leads by example on the field.

“Mahesh has an outstanding work ethic and continues to improve.”

Sophomore Conor O'Leary had one goal against Yough, off a Dhaubhadel assist.

Senior Luke Good, junior Nick Burkett and sophomore Falco Maden also were credited with assists.

With the win, Thomas Jefferson improved to 3-4-1 on the year.

“We are a very young team composed of mostly freshmen and sophomores,” Kulish said. “We are beginning to improve greatly with our team play on the pitch.”

Along with Dhaubhadel, the team's scoring leaders through eight contests were Burkett, with 2 goals and 3 assists; O'Leary, 2 goals; Good, with 1 goal and 1 assist; sophomores Matt Prezioso and Maden, both with 1 goal and 1 assist; and sophomore Owen Haythorn, 1 goal.

“Our goal production has increased by four goals compared to last season,” Kulish said. “Our goals-against average has decreased by four goals also compared to last year's team.”

Other players contributing offensively include freshmen Andrew Oriss, Sean Polick and Cole Lutz, sophomore Jack Rose and senior Ricardo LaLeggia.

Senior Michael Redmond, who plays both offensive (midfield) and defensive (fullback) positions, has been injured but is expected back to the lineup this week.

“It will provide us with an advantage to have Michael back on the field,” Kulish said.

On the defensive end, the Jaguars have been sparked by junior Matthew Wardlaw, sophomores Jake Stock, Dom Devine, Jack McCormick and Louie Scataglia, and freshmen Andrew Oriss and Ty Antonelli.

Freshman Colin Bucsok and Scataglia are the team's goalkeepers.

“The defense has been playing very well but is still a work in progress,” Kulish said. “The goalkeeping position was a particular (concern) at the beginning of our season. However, Colin has continued to improve in his goalkeeping techniques, and is gaining valuable experience at the varsity level. He has an outstanding attitude and is extremely coachable.”

It has been a tight battle involving several teams in Section 3-AA in boys' soccer action this season.

Through five games, South Park stood in first place with a 5-0 section record, followed by West Mifflin (3-1-1), Thomas Jefferson (2-2-1), Yough (2-3-1), Steel Valley (2-3), Belle Vernon (2-3) and Elizabeth Forward (0-4-1).

The Jaguars defeated Yough and Belle Vernon, and tied Elizabeth Forward.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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