Latrobe girls in thick of playoff chase
TribLIVE Sports Videos
As the 2013 season winds down, the Latrobe girls soccer team finds itself jockeying for postseason positioning in Section 1-AAA.
Entering play this week, the Wildcats were hanging on to the third and final playoff spot in the section with an overall record of 8-5-1 and a 4-4-1 mark in section play.
Latrobe's final week of the season will be comprised of a pair of games against Kiski Area — including a make-up game from earlier in the season — and a date with Hempfield.
If the Wildcats win all three contests, they'll qualify for the playoffs. If they win two of the three games, they can still qualify with some help. Franklin Regional and Kiski Area are right behind Latrobe in the section standings and could grab that third and final spot if Latrobe falters.
“It's pretty exciting,” coach Vincent Pimpinella said. “Every game matters.”
The Wildcats played tough in a pair of 3-1 losses to the top two teams in the section — Penn-Trafford and Norwin — last week.
“They exploited our temporary lapses in concentration,” Pimpinella said of Penn-Trafford. “That's been our recent history against stronger teams.”
For the Wildcats to make one last push for the postseason, Pimpinella needs his team to lock down the defensive half of the field and take advantage of scoring opportunities when they arise.
“The girls read the game pretty well,” Pimpinella said. “We're getting better in terms of concentration level.
“We just have to trust our training and wait for opportunities to attack and score.”
Much of Latrobe's scoring has been a family affair. Sisters Allison and Abby LaDuke have been the primary scorers for the Wildcats.
Allison, a senior, has nine goals and seven helpers on the season. From her center midfield spot, she keys the Wildcats offense. Her goal on Saturday staked her team to a 1-0 lead against Norwin.
“She helps us gain possession of the ball and find the side of the field with the least pressure,” Pimpinella said.
For her latest goal, Allison worked a combination play with freshman midfielder Halle Green in the left side of the penalty area and launched a rocket that found the right side of the goal.
Abby, a freshman striker, has notched eight goals and five assists. She scored Latrobe's only goal in the Penn-Trafford loss last week.
Junior midfielder Rachel Campbell has netted seven goals this season, and senior midfielder Emma Kate Womack has posted five markers.
Womack and junior Madison Mueseler, a fellow midfielder, help the Wildcats generate offensive pressure from the outside.
Senior Rachael Reed is the leader of the defensive corps.
“She's like a coach on the field,” Pimpinella said. “She helps to keep the young players organized.”
Junior goalkeeper Stephanie Kubus has had a strong season with four shutouts to her credit.
“All season, she's been very active,” Pimpinella said. “She plays the ball with her feet out of the penalty area by design. She's more than just a shot-stopper.”
Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.
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.
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- Starkey: Kang story of the year for Pirates
- Dormont man missing since Wednesday found dead at Station Square
- Taliani’s 3 homers propel Deer Lakes to 2nd WPIAL softball title in 4 seasons
- Pyrotechnics to be used in TV filming in New Kensington
- Man uninjured after leap from Hulton Bridge
- Sabres hire Bylsma as coach; Penguins receive 3rd-round pick
- Chevron settles fatal shale gas well fire lawsuit for $5M
- Man’s body found hours after disappearance on Youghiogheny River
- Police seek help finding missing Squirrel Hill man