Shaler boys soccer closes out 2013 season
The Shaler boys soccer team ended this season on a note that was all too familiar: a great effort late in the game falling just short of a win.
In the season finale against North Hills, the Titans spotted the Indians a 3-0 lead in the first half.
“That is similar to how we have played all season,” Shaler coach Nick Russo said.
“We come out flat and have to dig ourselves out. To play that way is tough.”
Russo said an inspiring speech at the half by one of the seniors helped refocus the team, and Shaler got a pair of goals from Ryan Landry to give the team a shot late, but the rally stopped there as North Hills won 3-2.
“We are a resilient team,” Russo said. “We lost to Hampton, 9-0, came back four days later and beat them 2-1.”
Shaler has enjoyed some signature wins against some good teams, but Russo said consistency and execution when the opportunity arises are things that have to happen for this team to take the next step.
“Our seniors were good leaders, and the younger players were respectful and followed their lead,” Russo said.
Russo addressed the team following the game, expressing gratitude for the senior class and motivating the returning players with talk of offseason workouts and how he expects the team to carry on heading into the offseason.
“We have to be more consistent to start off the season,” Russo said.
“We don't have the numbers of some of the other (teams in the Titans' section), so we have to counter that with being bigger and stronger.”
Russo bid farewell to Rob Phillips, Scott Stuthers, Justin Landry, Nick Polito, Zack Derno and John Colarusso. But he will continue to foster the young team he has at his disposal.
“This section is a long road, and I try to put the kids in the right position to help them get things done,” Russo said.
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org .