Girls soccer completes a season of growth


Tom Rekowski

The girls soccer team puts a shot on goal against Pine Richland

Addison Kania

The Shaler Area Girls Soccer team finished up its season showing significant progress over last year. The girls ended their season with an overall record of 4-8-1, a noticeable improvement from last season’s 1-17-2 record.

To prepare for the season, the girls worked hard during the summer. Optional conditioning sessions and practices were held weekly to help develop the girls’ fitness and skills. This training included fitness tests such as a two-mile run under 16 minutes and reaching level 10 on a pacer test. To obtain an opportunity to play on varsity, three out of four tests had to be passed.

“As a result of that hard work, we had a record 18 players pass our mandatory fitness tests prior to our first section game,” Coach Craig Wilkins said.

Their hard work paid off and helped the girls face the challenges they experienced during their season. One of these challenges is playing in a section with large schools such as North Allegheny and Seneca Valley.

“It’s always tough going against these big schools that have over double the amount of players than (we do) because they have a lot more options. Our soccer team sometimes barely has enough players to have a separate JV and varsity team,” junior midfielder Anna Sheets said.

The team’s goals for the season were to improve their attacking ability, create more chances to score goals, and also qualify for the playoffs.

“We certainly drove more offense, scoring 22 goals in just 13 games. That is three times the number we scored over an 18-game season last year,” Wilkins said.

This achievement was attributed to the effort given by the girls in every practice and throughout the season. The girls continued to advance their skills making this season their most successful in a while.

“This season, I feel we had the most skill we’ve had in a long time,” senior defender Selena Slavicek said. “Everyone brought something great to the team.”

The skills on the team were not the only reason the girls accomplished so much this fall. Much of their success came from the close bond that the girls formed throughout the season.

“From the first car pool to the last bus ride, I never stopped having fun with these girls,” Slavicek said.

This season also gave the team many memorable moments to look back on. One of them being a 5-3 win against North Hills, a significant section game for the Titans.

“This was especially big for me because it’s my senior year and the game was on our home field,” Emily Moorey, a senior defender, said.

This season was one of growth for the team, and it’s also a sign that the girls will continue to have success in the future.

“While making playoffs will remain a goal for next season, we are taking the right steps to achieve that goal over the longer term as well,” Wilkins said.