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Player rotation leads Seneca Valley girls soccer to success

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Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, 5:57 p.m.
 

Calling something a team effort is more than a cliché for top-ranked Seneca Valley.

The Raiders (15-2-1) rotate as many as 19 players, often substituting like a hockey team changing lines.

“We probably sub five or six girls at a time and stay pretty consistent,” head coach Dave Sylvester said. “There's not much of a drop-off. We're fortunate in that respect.”

Caroline Miller, Kelsey O'Connor, Emily Wagner, Sarah Anderson, Megan Majeski and Myra Charles all have at least five goals.

Marykate Zahorchak has been a consistent presence in the midfield. Alicia Hart and Lexus Lambert anchor the defense.

Goalkeeper Jess Neill, a three-year starter who has a section record of 32-2-2, has helped Seneca Valley to seven shutouts and 14 goals allowed.

The most enjoyable shutout was no doubt a 3-0 victory over Peters Township on Sept. 28. The Indians beat Seneca Valley in the WPIAL Class AAA championship game and again in the PIAA quarterfinals last season.

“Us and Peters have a little bit of a history,” Sylvester said. “Last year both of those games could've gone either way. Definitely the kids who have played in it and have been a part of it … I don't want to say they had that circled on their calendar, but they definitely were looking at that.”

• Mars' 2-0 home loss to Mt. Lebanon Monday was the Planets' first against a WPIAL team since the second game of the 2012 season, a 38-game stretch where Mars, the three-time defending WPIAL Class AA champion, went 34-1-3. That lone loss was to Mercyhurst Prep in the 2012 PIAA quarterfinals.

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