'Tight knit' group leads Greensburg Salem boys soccer
Greensburg Salem boys soccer last made the WPIAL playoffs in 2010. Since then, the team has only one winning season in Section 1-AA.
Coach John Lynch can't exactly figure out the program's recent losing.
“In past years, we've had very good talent that just couldn't play together,” Lynch said. “I think there's a certain chemistry you have to have on a team to be able to do well.”
This season, Lynch thinks the Golden Lions have the right mix of experience, talent and chemistry to perform well. The bulk of the 2015 team are juniors with a handful of seniors, three or four of which will start. In 2014, Greensburg Salem largely was made up of sophomores and lacked that trifecta of attributes.
As for chemistry, the players this year are “tight knit” and get along well, which Lynch thinks is half the battle in playing well.
“They've been playing since rec level as a group,” Lynch said. “They know where they're going on the field.”
Going into the 2015 campaign, Lynch is optimistic about his team and how they will fare. He didn't feel quite as good about last year's group, which he predicted at season's start would have a difficult season.
“It was disappointing but not terribly unexpected with the squad that we had,” Lynch said.
The Golden Lions finished 2-10 in section and 5-12 overall in 2014. While the season as whole was unsatisfactory, there were some positives to take away. Most games were pretty even, with only some being lopsided in favor of the opposition, Lynch said. Additionally, the players realized they needed to work hard and not give up.
The team this year looks better overall, Lynch contests. They've grown and matured. The inexperience that dogged them last year should not this year. But they can't rely on one season's experience to turn things around.
“They still need to work hard if they wanna win games,” Lynch said. “They can't rely just because they're a year older and think they're going to get better.”
Lynch thinks 2015 could be a breakout year for the team. He thinks it has the potential to finish in the top three in the section and make the playoffs. But ultimately it's up to them.
“I think we should have probably one of the best seasons, if the talent comes alive, than we've had in five years,” Lynch said.
Zach Brendza is a freelance writer.