Brentwood boys soccer program building momentum
Friday, September 20, 2019 | 7:52 PM
The Brentwood boys soccer team is hoping to build off the success of 2018.
A year ago, Brentwood finished as the Section 4-A runner-up, advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals and posted a sparkling 11-3-2 overall record.
“We had a great season,” coach Ron DiNardo said. “We made it to the Final 8 (in the Class A playoffs). We beat a good Serra Catholic team, then lost to Greensburg Central Catholic in Round 2.”
Brentwood started the 2018 season 3-0-2 and was 7-1-2 through 10 games. The Spartans won seven of their final eight regular-season contests to wrap up second place in the section.
Seton LaSalle finished first at 11-1 in Section 4, followed by Bentwood (8-2-2), Bishop Canevin (7-3-2) and Monessen (7-4-1).
DiNardo is optimistic the Spartans can challenge for a section title and make a long playoff run in 2019. The majority of starters from last year’s team are back.
“I have pretty high expectations for this year’s team,” DiNardo said. “We have seven returning starters. Our team speed and ball control are two of our strengths.”
Returning starters are striker Shashak Gurung, left wing Ben Betz, right wing Riley Wirth, center midfielder Heran Pradhan and, on defense, sweeper Marc Accamando, left back Prason Gurung and goalkeeper Zach Dirling.
DiNardo cited Shashak Gurung and Dirling as two key players for the Spartans.
Shashak Gurung is the lone senior in the group. Betz, Wirth and Pradhan are juniors, while Accamando, Prason Gurung and Dirling are sophomores.
They have been joined in the starting lineup by junior Mario Richards, sophomores Samir Kadariya and Sergio Garcia, at midfield, senior stopper Brett Powers and junior right back Dan Steingraber.
“We will try our best this season to live up to the expectations that have been set for us or hopefully go even further than those,” Steingraber said. “All around as a team we are solid. Defensively, we are strong and have good chemistry because we’ve played together for a long time, and offensively there is a lot of talent.
“We’ve worked on passing a lot in practices in order to have quick, accurate and smart passes and being quicker than the other team with our movement of the ball on the field. We have also worked on our finishing with these quick plays.”
Top reserves for the Spartans include seniors Cody Bagnull and Dave Males and juniors Pat Conway, Saroj Gurung and Pawan Pradhan.
DiNardo is assisted again this season by volunteer coach Roger Gaughan.
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