New year brings new challenges

Boys soccer team starts new season off strong


Senior Ethan Paxton looks to pass the ball as he runs down the field against New Brighton on Sept. 4.

Hailey Zeidler and Ella Walden

After a long break from last season, the boys soccer team is back at it with a new season. Their first game of the season was Sept. 4 against New Brighton. It was also their first game on the new turf field. This season the team hopes to go even further than they did last year.

As of the 2018 season, they are now classified as double A. For many years before, they were in the single A division.

The boys won their first game against New Brighton with a score of 15-1. Junior Hunter Black scored four goals, the most goals scored by a single player during the game. Senior goalkeeper Nick DiNardo only let one goal in. Eventually, junior goalkeeper, Brandon Majors stepped onto the field and did not allow any goals to get past him into the net. The win was a good reminder of how they should play and what they should continue to do for the rest of the season.

“Scoring four goals in the first game felt exhilarating and made me excited to see how the rest of the season is going to go,” Black said.

Many of the starters are juniors as there aren’t as many seniors this season. Seniors include Nick DiNardo, Ethan Paxton, Sam Socash, Tyler Smith and Blake Thewes.

“We put in a ton of work over the summer, but I feel that we are in a good spot early in the season,” junior Steven Buerkle said.

Buerkle plays center defense and is a starter for this season. The other starters this season are Black, Casey Collins, DiNardo, Alex Kerr, Tyler Mohrbacher, Ethan and Garrett Paxton, Socash, Thewes and Thomas Young.

During the summer, the boys competed in multiple tournaments in Ohio. They competed in the Cardinal Classic in Canfield, Ohio, Adidas National Showcase in Strongsville, Ohio and Beaver Local in Lisbon, Ohio. These tournaments also helped them prepare for the teams they were going to face back home in Pennsylvania.

Not only did the tournaments help the boys prepare them for their upcoming season, but their scrimmages also helped too. They had won 2-0 against Sewickley Academy and lost 1-0 against Canevin on Aug. 21. They won their third and final scrimmage 3-0 against Carlynton on Aug 28. Even though all the scrimmages were close, it helped them fix their mistakes and find new techniques to use against the opponents for upcoming games.

“The ultimate goal is to win WPIALs and states, but every week the goal is to take care of the games in front of us. We will always work on something to make us better, but we are prepared for any team that comes our way,” Buerkle said.

The team lost a number of seniors including Carson Gilarno, who was a top scorer in the WPIAL his senior year. Although they lost talented players, the team gained a new assistant coach, Phil Pawlowski.

The next home game will be Oct. 1 against South Side. The team would love for the rest of the community to show their support by coming out and watching them take on another rival.