Bishop Canevin girls soccer stunned by overtime loss
When Bishop Canevin girls soccer coach Jared Steigerwald gathered his players after the team's 1-0 overtime loss to Sewickley Academy in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals, he had no idea what to say.
“I told the girls I didn't prepare a speech for the conclusion of the season,” Steigerwald said. “I just always expected the best and for us to come out on top all the time.”
The game came to a close when Sophia Werner sent a deflected shot into the back of the net for the Panthers midway through the overtime frame. It was the first overtime loss for the Crusaders this season after they had defeated Avonworth, Vincentian Academy, South Allegheny and Our Lady of Sacred Heart in extra time this season.
“I told the girls I am extremely proud of them,” Steigerwald said. “I couldn't be more happy with what we did this season.”
In Steigerwald's first year with the Crusaders, he led the team to a 17-3 mark and a Section 3-A championship – the program's second straight section crown. The Crusaders finished the regular season on an eight-game winning, allowing only one goal to be surrendered during the stretch.
“His enthusiasm for the game helped bring us together,” junior Bailey Burgess said. “It really feels like he cares about this team more than anyone else has. He never let us give up.”
The team will return several talented players next season. Steigerwald said he did the math and out of the 188 players who got a start throughout the season, players in 136 of those starts will return.
Sophomore Ellese White led the team in goals scored with 10 while fellow sophomore Sam Vanek finished with nine. Juniors Burgess (six goals), Becca Mox (four) and Julia Martin (three) will all return and provide support on offense.
The defense will get a boost by the return of sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Clarke, who finished the season with 84 saves and 10 goals.
But replacing five seniors – Alaina McGuire, Becca Vanek, Carrie Bunevich, Julianna Hart and Kelsey Nalepa – won't be easy and Steigerwald credited them with making his first season go smoothly.
“I cannot speakly highly enough about those girls,” Steigerwald said. “We will miss the leadership they provided on and off the field. They showed the other girls how to be a leader and represent themselves, the school and community well on and off the field.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.