Attacking style has North Catholic girls soccer in line for share of section title

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019 | 11:42 PM


Emily Karr wasn’t sure what to expect after a year away from the North Catholic girls soccer program.

Karr had an idea of what she wanted the Trojanettes to do when she returned as coach.

“I went into the season with the style I like to play,” Karr said. “We like to attack and put pressure on other teams.”

North Catholic has been successful with that — and many aspects of the game — on its way to another WPIAL Class AA playoff berth. The Trojanettes (9-4, 8-2) are in line to share the Section 1-AA title with Hopewell should both teams win their final two section games.

North Catholic will play Keystone Oaks on Thursday at home. The Trojanettes are seeking their second section title in school history, winning their last under Karr in 2017.

Signs of growth have been evident the Trojanettes.

After losing two of its first three games, North Catholic scored a 2-1 victory over Hopewell. That victory put the Trojanettes in position to challenge for a section title.

“We don’t have a lot of the history other programs have,” Karr said. “Hopewell has a long history with being a good program with good coaching. Our program is still trying to establish our standards.”

Karr, who returned to the program as serving as an assistant for the Point Park women’s team last year, wasn’t sure what to expect when she returned. There were a lot of new faces on the roster.

This group was a little different than the Trojanettes’ teams she had in the past. North Carholic has a strong group of seniors, but also received a standout transfer and a core of young players.

Sophomore Jayden Sharpless, who scored 64 goals for Freedom last year, joined the Trojanettes and leads the team with 15 goals.

“She is a very experienced soccer player,” Karr said. “I knew there would be some talent and some game experience. She also brings a great workrate. She is very tenacious. She’s a tough player to play against. She gives us an edge in terms of workrate. She covers a lot of ground. She’s a leader in that sense.”

Grace Billman (11 goals), Tori Michalski (seven) and Tehya Dave (seven) have also provided scoring punch for North Catholic.

“We’re able to play several styles of soccer,” Karr said. “We don’t have one thing we are stuck with. The players are willing to learn and adapt to new systems, new passing patterns and new ways to get the ball forward. We have a great senior class, but we are also young and eager to learn. That should allow us to learn and develop through the year.”

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