Serra Catholic boys soccer looks to take next step
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The only team separating Serra Catholic boys soccer from the WPIAL finals is the one that ended its season a year ago.
The Eagles play Sewickley Academy at 8 p.m. Monday in the Class A playoffs at West Allegheny with hopes the result will not repeat the 3-0 defeat they suffered in the consolation finals last year.
“We'd like to get them back, but we need to focus on what we have to do this year,” coach Don Sabol said. “We're satisfied that we won both our (playoff games) so far, but I feel like we outplayed our opponents, but there were lapses where we were outplayed.”
The Eagles will need to avoid lapses to stay competitive with one of the more dominant teams in Class A.
Sewickley Academy finished its regular season 15-3 and won the Section 5-A title with a 10-0 record. The Panthers boast a backline that posted 11 shutouts thanks to senior defender Jack Matten. The team's leading goal scorers are senior striker J.P. Bowell and senior forward Anthony Stinson.
“They are a very good team,” Sabol said. “We have our work cut out for us. I'm sure we can give them a good game.
“We are capable, but we're definitely going to have to play our best.”
Sabol hopes his team will be able to match the Panthers.
Senior Tyler Grebur — who has scored 28 goals this season and holds the school-record of 73 — has been the leader on and off the field. Sabol said Grebur's calming presence will be a key.
Midfielders Nick Likar and Nick Andrews are expected to control the flow of the game and find openings to fuel the offense.
Serra Catholic's back end has been solid thanks to the play of Sam Almeter, Anthony Rosso, Grant Taylor and Zack Bauerle. With goalkeeper Anthony Koval as the last line of defense, Sabol said he expects another stingy performance from his group.
“This year our team is more team-oriented than in the past,” Sabol said. “Even with Tyler scoring all those goals, we know not one player is going to win or lose this game.
“It'll be a total team effort from all 11 players on the field.”
Sabol said it a matter of sticking to the strategies that he has preached all season.
“In the past we've tried to mark a particular person, but a really good player will get away from you,” he said. “All that does is weaken yourself, and you take yourself out of a game like that.”
Like they've done all season, the Eagles will come together and look to play its best game collectively and take it one step further than last year.
“They're anxious to get out there and play,” Sabol said. “We're going to focus on position and possessing the ball and try to give them a good game.
Brian Graham 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.
- Yough girls advance with overtime win
- Passionate approach on the pitch promotes success
- Belle Vernon Area girls ousted by Montour
- Shady Side Academy blanks South Allegheny to reach WPIAL girls soccer semifinals
- Penn-Trafford’s Mastrogiacomo scores in OT to secure win
- High school roundup: Canon-Mac girls down Peters Twp. in shootout
- Roundup: S. Allegheny stuns Carlynton in girls soccer playoffs
- WPIAL playoff soccer capsules
- Penn-Trafford girls soccer gets first playoff win since 2011
- Second-half adjustments help Burrell boys soccer win in 2OT
- Serra Catholic boys soccer team loses WPIAL 1st-round game to Avonworth, 1-0