Chartiers Valley girls soccer team writes 1st chapter in program’s new era

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Sunday, October 24, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward.

When building a high school program, that is often the case, especially when a coaching change is part of the mix.

After missing the playoffs for the last three years, averaging five wins per season, it appears Chartiers Valley took a step back under first-year coach Jason Edwards, finishing with only three wins.

However, when you look closer, maybe it wasn’t a step back after all.

“Coaches throughout the section have commented on the rapid improvement in the girls on the field,” Edwards said. “Others in the district and in the athletic department have mentioned a difference in their body language and overall higher spirit in the program. The program has a long way to go to be the program it wants to be. Not just myself, but all involved want to put all in place to have a successful program.

“The culture is having a huge revamp, and we’ve seen already, things that are taken for granted in other programs are sometimes alien in this one. Having a committed staff and a plan in place has given the district higher hopes and a goal to strive for the following years.”

Every team sets goals for the season. This Chartiers Valley girls soccer program had an interesting one coming into the 2021 campaign.

“Our goal was not to have any excuses,” Edwards said. “I really wanted to make sure we made the best of the situation and I didn’t want my appointment to be a hurdle to overcome for the girls. There is a lot of things we’ve done well and overcome quickly, and there is plenty we could do a lot better.

“This is an exciting group to be a part of, and I hope the community feels the same way. We’ve been competitive throughout the season and went into every game without any fear.”

The Colts competed every time they took the pitch. The largest margin of defeat was by three goals, and that happened only three times.

“It was clear we played up to our opponents,” Edwards said. “We had two great games against defending state champion Mars. We went toe to toe with Montour and felt hard done not to come out with a better result. But there have been too many patches where different units have been at a mismatch. We’ve had moments of brilliance, and I think starting a week or two more before the season would have gone a long way.”

Despite the results not being there, Edwards didn’t hesitate when asked about some of the highlights from this season.

“There have been a few,” he said. “Mars away is for sure up there. Leading Mars and having a competitive game that went all the way down to the wire, that was a fantastic game to be a part of as well as showing the potential of this program in taking on the team to beat in the section. Having Mars put the ball in the corner and shielding it to ensure we didn’t get the ball back with time counting down really showed we were pushing for an upset and was a fantastic reflection of how an end-to-end game it was.”

After being hired late, Edwards now has an entire offseason to change or tweak what he believes will help this Colts program take a couple of steps forward as soon as the 2022 season.

“My biggest excitement is having a proper preseason,” Edwards said.

“The amount of positive feedback we’ve had in the short time we’ve come together has been fantastic, and I keep thinking, ‘If only I had the preseason I wanted.’ We’re not going to be an overnight success, but we’ll be putting the grind in. I wouldn’t be surprised if the section, as a whole, will be keeping one eye on us.”

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