Penn-Trafford girls enter playoffs as section champs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Having already accomplished one of its goals for the 2013 season, the Penn-Trafford girls soccer team will now turn its attention to the next one.
The Warriors (12-5, 11-1), who clinched their second straight solo section title last week, will begin the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs later this week, with the opponent, time and location yet to be determined. Playoff pairings were scheduled to be released Wednesday, past the deadline for this week's edition.
“Every year, we go in the preseason and our goals are (to) win the section, get ourselves in the WPIAL final four and take our chances with the final four,” coach Rick Nese said.
Penn-Trafford gave itself an edge in the section race with a 2-0 victory over Norwin earlier this season. Norwin later tied Franklin Regional, meaning Penn-Trafford could clinch the section championship before the second meeting with Norwin took place.
The Warriors did just that, beating Connellsville, 9-0, last week.
“We always know that that's a huge game,” Nese said of the first meeting with Norwin. “Obviously, if you win that, then later on in the year when you play them, the pressure's going to be on the other team. And if there's any sort of slip-up, at least you have that one in the bag. Fortunately, that worked out for us this year.”
Norwin did beat Penn-Trafford in the teams' second meeting last week, but the section title was already wrapped up by then.
While Penn-Trafford enters the playoffs as the top team from Section 1-AAA, the Warriors are dealing with injuries to senior Morgan Casario and junior Kristen Swope. Swope didn't play in the loss to Norwin, and Casario was limited to about 10 minutes.
Nese said both players were working to return in time for the playoffs, but he didn't know if that would be possible.
“On top of their injuries, we've had some bumps and bruises and pulled muscles and things that we've been trying to cut down on playing time the last few games,” Nese said. “But we're healing up, hopefully, this week. Getting back to working on a few things this week is going to be good for us to get healthy.”
With both starters out, Nese said he used some different lineup combinations in a 2-0 nonsection loss last Saturday against Gateway. He planned to take what he learned from that game and use it during practice this week.
This season's team enters the playoffs in much of the same situation as last season's, which also went 11-1 in section play. Those Warriors lost in the first round, 3-1, to Canon-McMillan.
“I'm preparing us for our first game,” Nese said. “Hopefully, we can be at our best in this first playoff game because that's another something we weren't able to do last year. Hopefully, we'll be able to get a good result in the first one and that'll give me a better idea of how we play and how we look (and) what confidence we have moving forward.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
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.
- Monessen, Geibel to battle for 4-A top spot
- High school roundup: Bethel Park girls edge Baldwin in double OT
- Quaker Valley boys soccer team plays through gauntlet
- Mars girls extend section win streak to 62
- Charleroi ready for showdown
- Sewickley Academy girls soccer team hits its stride
- Charleroi Soccer Hall will welcome Duritza
- Yough girls soccer remains Section 1-AA power with deliberate, defensive style
- Penn-Trafford girls soccer team clamping down on defense
- Deer Lakes soccer coach can relate to his players
- High school roundup: Central Catholic tops Franklin Regional to stay unbeaten