Derry girls soccer continues to show improvement
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Derry girls soccer team's record over the past two seasons might not show it, but the Trojans are a program on the rise.
With just one win last season after a two-win season in 2012, Mark Curcio's team is looking ahead to continued improvement in his fourth year at the helm.
Increased roster turnout has been a big point of optimism; the Trojans welcomed an influx of talent two years ago as the roster grew from 17 to 33 players after Curcio's first season. It now stands at 28.
“What's really neat is, that big group of girls are now seniors, and they've been playing for two-and-a half years,” Curcio said. “When it comes to depth, this year is a lot more promising.”
With the addition of a junior varsity squad for the second consecutive season, the Trojans are hoping their increased team depth composed of more skilled players can help make them more competitive in WPIAL Section 1-AA after a 1-14-1 record a year ago.
“The idea that I actually have girls that can distribute the ball now, I have girls that talk to each other,” Curcio said. “They've been playing for two years and know exactly where they're going to be and can make plays up the field. … So I think that's the big thing that I'm most looking forward to.”
That team depth will be led by seniors Kaitlynn Piper (goalkeeper/midfielder), forward Renee Tempo and Megan Retallick. That group, along with juniors Elizabeth Skovira-Downey (midfielder) and Ari Bush (defender), will be counted upon to help lead the Trojans.
Curcio points to Piper and Tempo, the two lone freshmen on the roster when he took over the team in 2011, as examples of just how far the program has grown since their ninth-grade year.
“As I grew as a coach, these two grew up with me as players. … They know where it started,” Curcio said.
As the Trojans prepare for their first exhibition game on Wednesday against Ligonier Valley, the competition level has been evident in practice as numerous players are vying for a spot on the varsity team.
“The competitive edge at camp is quite evident,” Curcio said. “Anyone who shows up at camp would see that as soon as you showed up.”
“There's a lot more competition now over the years, a lot more girls have been coming out,” added Piper.
While Curcio and the rest of those within the program are optimistic that the increase in competition will prove to be beneficial, the goal for this season will not revolve around wins and losses as the team continues to build.
“To be honest … we're really not looking at record,” Curcio said. “Would it be nice to win a lot? Yeah, but just based on the last two years we're looking to turn that corner. Everything in our program is definitely growing.”
Alex Oltmanns 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.
- Police officer reported wounded in New Florence; suspect at-large
- Thomas Jefferson captures 6th WPIAL title
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Funding highway bill atop Rep. Shuster’s agenda
- Steelers find success vs. NFC
- Steelers notebook: Brown downplays possible matchup against Seahawks’ Sherman
- Robert Morris defeats Mississippi Valley State for 1st victory of season