New coach set to lead Greensburg Salem girls soccer
It's a new year and a new head coach for the Greensburg Salem girls soccer team.
After making the playoffs for the first time in two seasons, the girls soccer team infused some new and young coaching.
The Golden Lions (12-6-1, 8-3-1) finished third behind Yough and Mt. Pleasant in Section 1-AA and lost in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs to Quaker Valley, 4-0.
This year, first-year coach Jaclyn Fawcett hopes to use her youth and ability to relate to her players to help the Golden Lions advance further than the first round of the playoffs.
“Because I'm younger and I have played college soccer fairly recently, it helps that I can just jump in and play with the girls and kind of teach them as I play with them rather than standing and directing them on what to do,” said Fawcett, who played at Penn-Trafford and Seton Hill, graduating in 2013.
“We are just trying to teach them new ways to play the game. You don't have force it down the field, (and we'll teach them) how we have to work it up the field to capitalize on opportunities to score.”
Fawcett will have six returning starters, including forward Sydney Taylor and goalkeeper Taryn Six, both seniors. The Golden Lions will welcome the return of junior defender Hope Creamer and junior midfielder Mary Markle, as well as defender Emily Indof and midfielder Kellie Lynch, both sophomores.
The Golden Lions will look to replace the production of sophomore center midfielder Katie Wotus — who was lost for the season with a torn ACL — with the combination of sophomore midfielders Kelsey Hood and Morgan Paul. Fawcett expects big things from senior defender Kaylee Quatse and senior forward Alyssa Short to complement the returning starters.
“My goal this year is to definitely to make the playoffs. Ultimately, I have the goal to win this section. The games that we lost last year were 1-0 games to the teams that won the section,” Fawcett said. “I think it's definitely an attainable goal. We have some new teams in our section this year. It's going to be a challenge for us.”
Fawcett, who was an assistant coach for Kevin Hutchinson a season ago, will be joined by her Penn-Trafford teammate, Bethany Smyda, as an assistant coach. Fawcett believes the year as an assistant will benefit the team as they transition to another head coach.
“I think it definitely helps. I was able to show them I know the game pretty well. I'm there to help them get better. I enjoy every second I coach them,” Fawcett said. “The girls look up to us. They look forward to the season because they know that we believe in them.”
Andrew John is a freelance writer.