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Memories of 2010 WPIAL title still fresh for Shady Side Academy

| Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, 10:27 p.m.

Shady Side Academy senior goalkeeper Olivia Cochran has fond memories of the 2010 girls soccer season, the togetherness, the fun, the ability to create a family-like atmosphere around the team.

No surprise, the Indians won the first-ever WPIAL Class A title that year, going 19-5 and advancing to the PIAA quarterfinals.

With three players who began their Shady Side Academy careers on that team, Cochran, forward Maggie Scott and midfielder Zoe Schoen can think of no better way to bookend their high school careers than with another title.

And that would snap a stretch of two straight won by rival Greensburg Central Catholic.

“One thing that really sticks out to me was the senior leadership that we had,” Cochran said. “I think that's something that Maggie, Zoe and I have tried to provide.”

Cochran, who has shutouts in nine of Shady Side's 10 wins, joked about the length of the season and how much time players spend together — and making sure they don't dread every second.

“We were all so close my freshman year,” Cochran said.

“That sense of familiarity is something that we're trying to get going. There are problems that happen on the field, sometimes little mistakes here and there that can cost you. You want everyone to be supportive of each other.”

If not freaking out on one another is concern No. 1, the biggest threat to that might be top-ranked Greensburg Central Catholic, which has won eight of 11 meetings between the two teams since 2009.

Shady Side travels to GCC Wednesday for a 7 p.m. kick.

“The biggest obstacle that we have to overcome is GCC,” Schoen said.

“It just takes one really good game, so I think it's definitely within our reach.”

Shady Side (10-2, 8-1 in Section 4-A) has had plenty of good games thus far, including three wins over Riverview and Springdale, the third- and fourth-place teams in the section, by a combined score of 18-0.

Scott leads the team with 23 goals and seven assists. Schoen has nine and seven, while freshman Elizabeth Harper is second with 12 goals.

Junior Calsey Holshue has contributed six goals and seven assists.

“It's definitely exciting to see how much they've improved and grown,” said first-year coach Mary Bushnell Lynch, who was a first-year assistant on that 2010 team.

Other leaders in the senior class include midfielders Jane Sheerer, Sophie Abo, Madison Taylor and Pia Campbell.

Junior Kara Pooley has anchored the defense. She's been helped by junior Tori Winter, sophomore Olivia Cotter and freshman Eliza Cochran, Olivia's younger sister.

As the three seniors know, how much they bring those younger players along will be key to making a title run.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jmackey@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

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