Coach Bill Pfeifer boosts Hopewell girls soccer program, sets state wins record
Tuesday, October 1, 2019 | 10:16 PM
Winning follows Bill Pfeifer.
So, it was no surprise the victories continued last season when he left back-to-back WPIAL and PIAA championship squads at Moon to take over Hopewell’s program.
He helped turn a 2-13 Vikings team into a WPIAL finalist in 2018.
The winning ways have continued as Hopewell is among the Section 1-AA leaders and a contender for the WPIAL championship.
“There always have been athletes at Hopewell,” Pfeifer said. “Through club soccer, I coached a lot of kids from Hopewell. I knew what the potential was. Last year, I think the kids were looking for a change. The seniors had won just 11 games in their first three years.
“Last year, we tried to change the mentality of the program. We got new gear, got a locker room at the field house at the school. The kids all dressed alike. They bought in and it carried over to this year.”
While Monday’s 3-0 win over Keystone Oaks kept the Vikings (7-2 overall, 6-2 section) in second place in the section, one game behind North Catholic (8-3, 7-1), the victory made Pfeifer (436-71-20) the winningest girls soccer coach in state history.
He passed longtime former Hampton coach Frank Christy (435-123-38). Owen J. Roberts coach Joe Margusity is right behind after Saturday’s 0-0 tie with Garnet Valley left him with a 434-120-52 career mark.
“It nice. I’ve been around a lot of good people and kids who have been willing to work. Some of the administrators I have been with have been very supportive and the parents have been supportive,” Pfeifer said. “The people I’ve met along the way and I’ve worked with have been outstanding. I try to tell the kids and parents that it’s a lot more than just soccer. I still keep in touch with my players from the past. The honor is nice, but it’s not just me. It just means I am getting old. It’s been a long time.”
“It’s really special, especially having him as our coach right now. It’s hard to imagine all those wins. I am just glad he’s at Hopewell,” goalkeeper Katie Ramaley said. “We have really good coaches and we’re all thankful for that. They are making us a lot better than we used to be. They know way more than we do. We just let them work their magic”
Hopewell returned its entire defense of Lindsey Hysong, Kazia Krotec, Katryna McKay and Kylie Doran in front of Ramaley.
“At the beginning of the year, they were a little slow like they hadn’t played together before. Now, they’re starting to come together,” Pfeifer said. “We’ve had to move some people around because of injuries. Those four have been together the last few games and it’s made a difference.”
Defense has been one of Pfeifer’s hallmarks, so it’s fitting the record win was a shutout – the team’s fourth in a row.
“We’re slowly coming together. Where we are now is probably where I would have liked to have been three or four weeks ago. Now, we’re sorting things out and getting on the same page,” he said. “I can see the difference in the kids. They are starting to see things again. We’re in a good place right now. Hopefully, we peak at the right time and we can get into the playoffs. I don’t think we’ve peaked yet.”
The offense has produced seven goals in the last three outings, too.
“We all work well together up top. We’re just putting things together right now,” forward Raychel Speicher said. “I have a lot of trust in my backs, too, and they do really good job back there keeping the ball out of the net.”
Pfeifer hopes the upward trend continues for Hopewell
“The kids are getting excited. They are buying into what we’re doing and starting to see progress and following the standings,” he said. “They are doing all the little things it takes to get to the next level.”
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.
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