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Sewickley Academy girls soccer team looking for increased scoring

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
New Brighton's Elaina Smith battles Sewickley Academy's Mackenzie Pryor for the ball during the second half Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Edgeworth. New Brighton won, 2-1.

An experienced Sewickley Academy girls soccer team hopes to shore up its offense as it enters the second half of the season.

The team entered the week 6-3-2 overall and 6-1-2 in Section 1-A.

One of 11 seniors, Melina George leads the team with six goals so far. Remaining scoring has been split among 10 players, including defender Paige Simakas, who has two goals and two assists.

“We have no problem with possession,” coach Jessica Peluso said. “We just can't score.

“We're working on it. It's just a matter of creating good opportunities.”

In seven games, the Panthers have scored only one goal or been held scoreless. Ten of their 22 goals have come in two games against South Side Beaver, including a 4-0 win last week.

Sewickley Academy also scored four goals in a victory over Freedom.

New Brighton handed Sewickley Academy its only section loss, 2-1, in overtime, early last month. The Panthers tied Neshannock and Quigley.

Sewickley Academy has rematches against all three teams this week.

“It's a big week for us,” Peluso said.

Senior goalkeeper Maggie DeWitt looked forward to playing at New Brighton earlier this week. Results were not available before this edition's deadline.

“We'll be ready for them, knowing they have the ability to beat us,” said DeWitt, 16.

Allowing only 10 goals, the Panthers' defense has been a bright spot.

“Players really have been stepping up,” DeWitt said.

The WPIAL runner-up, Sewickley Academy lost to archrival Shady Side Academy in the quarterfinals of the PIAA championship a year ago.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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