Boulos sisters help Deer Lakes capture Section 2-2A girls soccer championship

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | 11:27 PM


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Separated in age by one year and one grade in school, sisters Abigail and Madeline Boulos have their own interests, hobbies and friend groups.

At the same time, their close relationship unites them when things such as shopping or listening to music come into play. The quest for academic excellence also is a binding tie.

“We spend a lot of time together,” Madeline said.

That closeness extends to athletics as they have grown together on the soccer pitch through youth leagues up to their Hotspurs Elite cup squad.

This fall, Abigail, a sophomore, and Madeline, a freshman, added a connection on the Deer Lakes varsity girls team, and their efforts helped the Lancers capture the Section 2-AA championship. They are expected to be one of the top seeds when the WPIAL playoff pairings are released Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ve been working together on teams all of our lives, so it’s great to be together again,” said Abigail, a forward who has 10 goals on the season.

Madeline has made an impact as one of the team’s top scorers with 22 goals through 17 games. She tallied her first varsity goal in the team’s second game, a 7-0 triumph over Valley to open section play.

“I didn’t feel too much pressure coming in,” Madeline said. “I knew everyone wanted me to just do my job and help the team anyway I could. We trained so much in the preseason, so when we started to play games, I was pretty comfortable with everything.”

Deer Lakes’ lone loss this season came in a 4-2 nonsection setback to North Hills on Sept. 12. The only section blemish was a scoreless tie against Highlands on Oct. 8.

The Lancers, No. 3 in this week’s TribHSSN Class AA girls soccer rankings, topped section runner-up Burrell, 2-1, on Oct. 3, and Abigail netted the game-winner with five minutes left in regulation. The triumph completed a season sweep of the Bucs.

“It was an amazing feeling to beat Burrell again,” she said. “That was such a competitive game.”

At the time, the win was a big step toward Deer Lakes securing the section title, and it also clinched the team’s second straight trip to the playoffs after a five-year drought.

“Breaking through last year gave us a ton more motivation to make it back and go even further,” Abigail said.

Abigail also tallied the winner Monday in a 2-1 victory over Freeport to close out section play.

“I’m starting to call Abby ‘The Big Game Kid,’ ” Deer Lakes coach Frank Accetta said. “She only has 10 goals, but a lot of them are big ones. She also has 15 assists, so if she’s not scoring, she’s setting up other people. With a year under her belt, she came in with more poise and is a more comfortable player.”

Accetta said he’s seen that special connection between the sisters this season as they want to see each other succeed along with their mission to help the team get better and add victories.

Madeline assisted on her sister’s game-winner Monday. Sophomore Lily Litrun added a goal, her 21 st of the season, against the Yellowjackets.

“You see a similarity in that (the sisters) are not greedy players,” Accetta said. “They’ve set up each other a number of times for goals. They both have that strong sense of awareness on the field, especially with each other because they’ve played so many games together.”

Madeline has 15 assists to go along with her 22 goals.

“Maddy plays a fearless game,” Accetta said. “She’s a small kid in stature, but she plays the game hard.”

The Boulos family connection in soccer is not limited to the sisters on the field. Their father, Jeff, is a Lancers assistant coach.

Jeff says that when it’s time for a practice or a game, the dynamic turns strictly to player-coach, not daughter-father.

“They know there is a line they don’t cross, and they’re not expecting special treatment from me,” he said. “There’s times where I’ve actually been a little harder on them because I am trying to keep up that separation. The girls have been very respectful of that.”

WPIAL playoff games are scheduled to begin Saturday. Madeline said the team is ready.

“We played really well in the opening game, and right then and there, we knew this could be a special season,” she said. “We’re strong in all areas on the field, so it’s important to just do our jobs and not worry about having to do too much. We’re just ready to win more games.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-388-5825, mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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