Serra Catholic soccer team's effort paying dividends
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There were high expectations all along for the Serra Catholic boys soccer team, and the Eagles have done their part to satisfy the challenge.
On Wednesday, when the WPIAL playoff brackets were announced, Serra Catholic (12-3-1) scored the highest showing among qualifying teams in the region, earning a No. 4 seed in Class A after winning the Section 1 title with a 9-0-1 mark, the lone blip a scoreless tie with South Allegheny on Sept. 21.
“It's so hard to win them all,” Serra Catholic coach Don Sabol said, “but just as long as the effort and focus are there, that's all you can ask.”
Serra Catholic, which opens the playoffs with a first-round game against Geibel (10-6-2) on Monday at Laurel Highlands, ended the season on an upswing by beating Section 2 champion South Allegheny, 3-0, in a rematch Oct. 8.
The Gladiators (11-5-2) open the playoffs against Vincentian Academy (13-2-3), also Monday, at South Fayette.
“We're happy with the draw we got,” Sabol said. “We had high expectations coming into the season, but you don't want to be overconfident. Yes, the three losses we have were disappointing for us, but sometimes that can serve as a wake-up call.”
Junior forward Tyler Grebur is a big reason for Serra Catholic's success, scoring 24 goals to become the school's all-time leader with 69.
In addition to Serra Catholic and South Allegheny, two other schools — Class AAA Norwin and class AA Yough — will send boys and girls teams into the playoffs, accounting for 8 of the 10 representatives from the region in the brackets.
The West Mifflin boys and the Elizabeth Forward girls round out the regional qualifiers.
Joining the Serra Catholic boys as section winners from the region are the Section 1-AAA Norwin boys, the Section 1-AA Yough girls and the Section 2-A South Allegheny girls.
The remainder of the schedule on Saturday finds Yough (8-8-1) entertaining Mt. Pleasant (11-5-1) in a Class AA boys preliminary-round game, with the winner advancing to a first-round game Monday at top-seeded West Allegheny (14-0-3), while in girls first-round games, Norwin (14-2-2) welcomes Canon-McMillan (12-3-3) in Class AAA, Elizabeth Forward (11-3-4) travels to Yough (14-4-0) in a Class AA, and South Allegheny (13-3-1) meets New Brighton (9-6-1) at Bethel Park.
Two other boys first-round games — Canon-McMillan (14-2-2) at Norwin (10-6-1) in Class AAA and West Mifflin (8-7-1) at Laurel Highlands (14-3-0) in Class AA — are set for Monday.
The Norwin girls team drew a disappointing No. 8 seed in Class AAA despite an impressive record and signature victories over second-seeded Peters Township, fifth-seeded Baldwin and seventh-seeded Penn-Trafford.
The Knights have been eliminated in the quarterfinals the past two seasons after playing in the championship game in 2010. They last won a WPIAL title in 1997.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Apollo-Ridge girls set for WPIAL debut
- Quaker Valley boys soccer coach stresses importance of group over individual
- Norwin girls soccer sets sights on ultimate prize
- Hampton boys soccer seniors seeking 1st playoff trip
- Latrobe girls soccer team hope experience leads to playoff berth
- Cougars poised for another big season
- Penn-Trafford girls soccer embracing coaching change
- Boys soccer preview: After winning back-to-back WPIAL titles, Peters Township boys hoping to evolve with younger lineup