TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Geibel boys soccer team makes most of small roster

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Jason Black | Daily Courier
Geibel's Chris Martin (left) and Kyle Toth battle for the ball during a practice Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, at Geibel High School.
Top high school sports
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 10:57 p.m.
 

Thirteen has proven to be a lucky number this season for the Geibel boys soccer team.

The Gators field only 13 players, yet heading into Thursday's action the Gators were atop the Section 4-A standings.

Geibel, under coach Mike Grant, is on the verge of qualifying for the WPIAL Class A playoffs for the second time in the past six seasons.

“I've had these kids for the last few years, and we just keep working on the things that we've been doing the last few years,” Grant said.

With such a small roster, one of the biggest challenges that the Gators face is avoiding injuries. So far this year, Geibel has been fortunate enough to avoid any long-term injuries or illnesses, but that doesn't mean they've had a full complement of players every game.

“We played one game this season with just 10 players,” Grant said. “We've played other games with just one substitute. We just keep playing as a unit and trying to stay healthy.”

Through eight section games, the Gators are 6-0-2. They are 8-2-2 in their first 12 games overall. Entering Thursday's game against California, six of Geibel's wins were via shutout.

“We've played real good team defense,” Grant said. “No matter if we are defending or attacking, we do everything as a team.”

Geibel senior Patrick Teach was converted from offense to defense. Junior Tommy Kovalchuk was switched from defense to offense.

“Patrick is new to our defense this year, but there was no problem for him adjusting at all,” Grant said. “There is a defensive mindset with Patrick, and Tommy is more offensive so we moved him up front.”

Juniors Matt Mammarella and Nelson DiBiase have been strong on the back end. Sophomore goaltender Kyle Toth has also played well.

The offense also has been productive. Junior James Ewing leads the team with 14 goals. Seniors Patrick Nahhas, Neil Solan and Kyle Kozura, as well as juniors Jarek Allen, Chris Martin, Bailey McIntyre and Britt Mechling, have all contributed.

“I felt last year we could have done this, but we were on the wrong end of some games we could have won,” Grant said. “This year, the ball is bouncing our way.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Soccer

  1. Penn-Trafford girls soccer gets first playoff win since 2011
  2. After reaching playoffs for 2nd straight season, Latrobe girls continue to make strides
  3. WPIAL playoff soccer capsules
  4. 3 area teams eliminated
  5. Riverview embracing underdog role in WPIAL first-round win
  6. Connellsville falls to Seneca Valley in first-round soccer playoff game
  7. High school roundup: Quaker Valley boys upset No. 2 Mars
  8. Geibel goalie saves game during shootout, beats Carlynton
  9. Franklin Regional boys win first section championship since 2008
  10. Mt. Pleasant boys soccer season ends on penalty kicks
  11. WPIAL releases soccer playoff pairings
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.