A-K Valley athletes of the week: Burrell’s Skylar Dale, Freeport’s Giovanni Pugliese

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017 | 11:06 PM


Skylar Dale

School: Burrell

Class: Junior

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Dale, a center midfielder, scored two goals in Burrell's important 3-1 win over Section 2-AA rival Springdale on Monday. The win gave Burrell (7-3-1, 5-3) sole possession of second place in the section standings. A three-year starter, Dale added her fourth goal of the season in Wednesday's 4-1 win over Highlands. Dale also plays cup soccer for Allegheny Force.

Why did you start playing soccer?

I started plying soccer because my older sister (Shelby) played, and she was really good at it.

Can you describe how competitive Section 2-AA is this season?

It's really close and any game that you lose can count against you.

How does last year's first-round playoff loss drive this year's team?

We wanted more out of our team, as a whole, than we gave. We're working toward the goal of going further into the playoffs

Where do the Bucs need to improve before the postseason?

We need to improve on finishing with the ball. We need to step up in the first half and play how we do in the second half but from the start.

What is the strength of this year's team?

We have good freshmen that came up and they did really take over the seniors' spots from last year and are helping the team out.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Alex Morgan, God, Cristiano Ronaldo.

What three words best describe you?

Hardworking. Humble. Competitive.

What actress should play you in a Hollywood movie?

Jennifer Aniston.

What do you enjoy most about the fall/autumn months?

I like how I can wear shorts and a long-sleeved T-shirt.

What's your favorite subject at school?

I like chemistry. It's the easiest subject for me.

Something interesting about you that nobody knows?

I put my right shoe on before my left. I'm very superstitious.

Giovanni Pugliese

School: Freeport

Class: Senior

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Having played backup to former Yellowjackets goalkeeper Austin Uric for the past three seasons, Pugliese's performance between the pipes has Freeport (10-3, 7-2) in a second-place tie with Deer Lakes in Section 2-AA. The 5-foot-11 netminder has four shutouts to his credit this season, with two coming against section opponents. Pugliese holds a one goal-per-game average. He also has a 2-1 record in one-goal games.

Why did you start playing soccer?

I started when I was 4. My older brother (Vincenzo) played and my dad's from Italy. It's kind of in the family.

When did you decide goalkeeper was your position?

I think when I was like 8 or 9. I was good at it and I liked it.

Did anything surprise you about becoming a starter?

I was Austin's backup for the past three years. There was nothing that really surprised me.

What did last year's first-round playoff loss do to this team?

It gave us motivation, and we worked harder for this year.

How determined is this year's team to make it past the first round of the WPIAL playoffs?

No one wants to feel that way again, and we're going to try our best to make that happen.

Where does Freeport need to improve most before the postseason?

Communicating more and working the ball around. I think we're doing well with everything right now.

What is the strength of this year's team?

We've all been playing together since we were little. We have good chemistry together.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Gianluigi Buffon (Italian national team goalkeeper), he's my inspiration, Sidney Crosby and President Trump.

What three words best describe you?

Funny. Smart. Athletic

What actor should play you in a Hollywood movie?

Probably Johnny Depp. He's funny.

What do you enjoy most about the fall/autumn months?

Weather and definitely the scenery, and it's soccer season.

What are your plans for after high school?

I have a few colleges in mind.

Something interesting about you that nobody knows?

I'm the middle child of nine kids. Seven girls and two boys. I try and spend most of my time either at work or at soccer.

— William Whalen

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