Dillie comes through for USC
When it came time to pick the Trib's Boys Soccer Player of the Year, the selection process was easy.
Look for an undefeated state champion with a No. 1 national ranking, and vote for its top player.
Upper St. Clair enjoyed one of the best seasons in the history of WPIAL soccer, and senior midfielder Scott Dillie was the biggest reason why.
"He's a cut above," Chartiers Valley coach Mike Blatz said.
For leading the Panthers to a perfect season and a spot in the WPIAL record books, Dillie is the 2004 Tribune-Review Boys' Soccer Player of the Year.
In voting by the Trib sports staff and local soccer coaches, Dillie edged Fox Chapel senior E.J. McCormick, who scored 33 goals, and senior midfielder Adam Gazda, who led Chartiers Valley's spirited run to the WPIAL Class AAA finals.
Upper St. Clair went 27-0-0 to become the first WPIAL Class AAA team to post an undefeated, untied state championship season. The Panthers also were the first WPIAL Class AAA team to repeat as state champion, and finished the season as the co-No. 1 team in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas poll. They were No. 1 in StudentSports poll.
"It was a great year for me, and my team," Dillie said
Dillie didn't post gaudy numbers (17 goals and 17 assists), but whenever Upper St. Clair found itself in a tussle, the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder delivered.
"All of our attacks went through Scott at one point or another," USC coach Uwe Schneider said.
Said Fox Chapel coach Mark Perry, "I think he was by far their best player. He has no weakness."
Dillie's achievements reached a national scale. Dillie, who will decide between Ohio State, Pitt and Virginia Tech, this week earned NSCAA/adidas All-America honors, joining McCormick as the only WPIAL players selected for the 75-boy team.
Perhaps Dillie's greatest strength was the ability to guide a team with nine returning starters and 17 seniors from a PIAA champion.
"It's tough to be the leader among a lot of good players," Blatz said. "Yet on a team so talented, he was the general who ran things."