A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Kiski Area’s Liam Foley

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Monday, September 18, 2023 | 10:52 AM


Change can be a disruptive force.

For the Kiski Area boys soccer team, a coaching change leading into the season has been met with a determination to sustain the status quo.

New coach Ben Fiore comes in from Ambridge and was a Kiski Area soccer player from 2011-15. When he took the reins, he vowed to continue the success the program had under coach Sean Austin.

“Sean kept the program very consistent, and he built something I’m trying to maintain,” said Fiore. “Although that super talented team last year lost a lot of pieces, we’ve got a lot of guys with that next-man-up mentality who are looking to continue that success this year.”

One of those players is senior Liam Foley, who approached Fiore when he got to Kiski Area.

Fiore is confident that his “offensive utility knife” can be counted upon to help the Cavaliers advance further in the playoffs.

Through three games, Foley was leading the Cavaliers (1-1-1) in goals with three. He took a few minutes for a Senior Spotlight Q-and-A session:

The team had a great season last year. Tough overtime loss against Montour in the playoffs. How did you feel after that loss?

Definitely didn’t feel good. Ambridge, who we beat in the regular season, went all the way to the finals against Moon. I feel like if we had got past Montour, we could have made it to the finals and maybe even won.

Was there anything you learned from that loss?

Just play the whole 80 minutes as hard as you can.

What’s it like playing under a new coach?

Different. For three years, I had Sean as our coach and I like Ben. The whole team really likes Ben.

What was that first discussion with Ben like?

We introduced ourselves, and we talked about last season for a little bit.

What are some of the differences between the coaching philosophies from last year to this year?

Ben’s more chill and patient with his philosophy on how we attack. Sean was more aggressive and attack oriented. Ben wants us to be aggressive but not as much as we were last year.

What are your impressions of this year’s team, and how does it compare to last year’s?

We lost a large portion of our starting lineup when last year’s seniors graduated. But this year, I feel like we plugged in a lot of guys to fill those roles. We got Austin Beck, who is only a sophomore and a really good player. Then there’s Nathan Witt, who came back to soccer and is filling a good role.

You guys opened with a 3-0 win against Highlands and then an 8-1 loss to Hampton. Any thoughts on the outcomes to both those games?

Against Highlands, we didn’t have a great first half, but we really figured it out in the second. We made great use of those opportunities to score three goals. Then against Hampton, we were up 1-0 with 10 minutes left in the first half. Then they starting scoring in the second, and we got down on ourselves. As a team, we went over what needed fixing and we found we had to correct our mistakes and get our formations down.

Coach labeled you as his utility knife offensively, playing various positions. Is there any position you enjoy playing than the others?

I like playing forward, up front — left wing, just because I feel like I’m the best at creating plays offensively and I love to score. I mean, who doesn’t?

What would you say is your greatest strength?

My field vision. Getting the ball and making quick, smart decisions with it.

When did you start playing soccer?

I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old. Soccer was one of many sports I played when I was younger, and soccer was my favorite.

What was it that drew you to soccer more than the other sports?

It was actually my uncle. He played at West Virgina University, and he kind of nudged me towards soccer.

What hobbies do you enjoy when you’re not in school or playing soccer?

I like to ski and golf. I’m also usually out riding quads or dirt bikes and hanging with friends.

Anything that would surprise people to know about you?

I like to travel. I’ve been to Mexico and Costa Rico.

Any college plans?

I’m still undecided on what my plans are.

Any thoughts on what you would study when you do make a decision?

I would like to study business.

What’s one piece of advice you want to leave your teammates?

Make the most out of it and have as much fun as you can.

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