Deer Lakes’ Jesse Greyshock named Valley News Dispatch Boys Soccer Player of the Year
By: Doug Gulasy
Saturday, December 1, 2018 | 4:33 PM
Valley News Dispatch Boys Soccer Player of the Year
Deer Lakes, senior, goalkeeper
Jesse Greyshock began his Deer Lakes varsity career in the midfield. He ended it two levels back, leading the Lancers to a historic season.
In his second season as Deer Lakes’ full-time goalkeeper, Greyshock brought the team to the brink of the PIAA Class AA championship, which would have been the first in school history.
Deer Lakes won its first section title in 15 years, advanced to the WPIAL semifinals and the PIAA tournament for the first time and won three games in the state playoffs to reach the title game in Hershey, where the Lancers lost 1-0 in overtime.
A vocal leader from the back, Greyshock registered 10 shutouts, including three in the postseason. He allowed one goal or fewer in the Lancers’ final 15 games of the postseason. The 5-foot-11 Greyshock stood tall in the biggest moments, making crucial second-half saves in one-goal PIAA playoff wins over Fairview, Quaker Valley and Shady Side Academy.
That run propelled Deer Lakes to a historic finish, earned Greyshock all-WPIAL honors for a second consecutive season and solidified him as the 2018 Valley News Dispatch Boys Soccer Player of the Year. He edged out another outstanding goalkeeper, Springdale’s Mike Zolnierczyk, and teammate Michael Sullivan to earn the top spot.
Before he heads to Grove City to continue his soccer career next fall, Greyshock discussed his memorable season.
What was the run like this season?
This run was fantastic. It was a great cap-off to really show what this program has built up to, and it’s looking great for the future. It was a great way to end my senior year.
What was the most memorable part?
I’d say every single time we played Shady Side was a memorable game, so definitely that rivalry. Every game we played them, those four games mattered. And definitely every single state playoff game because they were close, every single game.
What sticks out about this team in particular?
This team really had no weaknesses. Everyone held their own at every position we had. I remember years past, there was always that one spot you didn’t know what to do about. That’s what teams picked on because we had that weakness. But we had no weaknesses around this team this year, and that’s something I’ll remember.
Do you have any saves that you found especially memorable?
I had some pretty big saves in the Shady Side game, the state playoff game. I don’t know if there were any in particular. I’ve had a lot of good saves. And Quaker Valley, I had a lot of really good stops there towards the second half of the game where it started to get really tense and they were pressuring.
Do you enjoy tight situations?
Really, I actually do. The pressure, I enjoy that. I enjoy the feeling you get in those games, too, and I get very competitive. I like a team that feels the same competitiveness with me.
What were the best offenses you saw?
Seeing Shady Side four times, I think they definitely have one of the best offenses in the WPIAL. At least this year they did with the three seniors they had. Quaker Valley, their strike force was down our throats most of the game. They were something else.
Are you pro- or anti-penalty kicks?
That’s a tough one. I enjoy saving penalty kicks, so I’d say I’m for penalty kicks. They can go either way. I enjoy being in that position with penalty kicks. I enjoy taking them, too. If we were ever in the penalty kicks situation, I’d be one of the penalty kick takers on our team.
What have you gotten out of playing for the Riverhounds Development Academy?
Just the exposure to how good soccer is across the nation, and just training with some of the best kids in Western Pennsylvania to play soccer. It’s really helped me grow as a player and even translate that to high school, too.
How would you describe yourself as a midfielder?
I like to play the same way a lot of midfielders play. I like to possess the ball, I like to switch around the back. That’s what I like to do as a goalkeeper, too, just keep possession of the ball, quick touches, moving it in and out.
How many goals do you think you could have scored as a field player on this team?
I did score a goal this season against Derry. I took one of the penalty kicks. I’m not going to be boastful because my midfield had a fantastic year, but I think I could have held my own.
Why did you pick Grove City?
It’s got one of the strongest Division III soccer programs out there, so that’s definitely what drew me to it. But definitely it allows me to focus on my education first. They have a fantastic engineering program. The combination of the two was hard to pass up.
Do you have a specific area of engineering you’re focusing on?
Mechanical engineering. My two favorite paths are either to work in hospitals and build robots for hospitals, or I want to transfer that into the military.
How was Thanksgiving?
It was fantastic. Ate a lot of food, relaxed and hung out with family.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
I like stuffing the best. But this year, we did bacon-wrapped turkey. It was life-changing.
Who made it?
My dad. He’s the real chef.
Did you do any Black Friday shopping?
I went out. I’m not super into it, but I went out just to see all the commotion.
What’s the big thing you want for Christmas?
I want some nice sweatshirts, some nice sweatpants. I’m really into the clothes vibe this year, so that’s what I’ve been telling the family. I just want some comfy stuff.
What are your hobbies outside of soccer?
One of the bigger things I do outside of soccer is I’m heavily involved in my church, which is another reason I’m going to Grove City, and I’m also a huge skiier. I love to ski. The slopes just opened at Seven Springs, so I’m very excited to go.
Is that your favorite place?
Around here, yes. But I’ve been out to Vail, Colorado, a couple years ago. I love skiing. It was incredible.
Nick Caro, Deer Lakes, sr., D
One of two senior starters, Caro brought physicality to the back line from his center back spot to help Deer Lakes post 10 shutouts and reach the state finals.
A.J. Dorman, Deer Lakes, jr., F
He scored a team-high 19 goals and thrived in big moments, tallying seven goals in the postseason and a pair of late game-winners in the PIAA playoffs.
Daniel Fábregas, St. Joseph, sr., F
The all-section and all-WPIAL striker broke Mark Sadler’s school scoring record, registering 41 goals and 13 assists for the Spartans.
Hunter Hardin, Freeport, sr., F
All-section forward helped the Yellowjackets reach the playoffs for the third consecutive season, scoring a team-high 24 goals.
Zane Ingram, Fox Chapel, jr., F
An all-WPIAL pick for the second time, Ingram led the playoff-qualifying Foxes in scoring with 11 goals — including six game-winning tallies — and nine assists.
Michael Mitchell, Springdale, jr., M
The all-section pick led Springdale in scoring this season with 14 goals and 11 assists, helping the Dynamos reach the WPIAL Class A semifinals.
Devin Murray, Deer Lakes, so., M
All-WPIAL player was one of three sophomore midfielders who controlled the action for the Lancers, scoring eight goals and holding a heavy defensive responsibility.
Nick Smith, Kiski Area, sr., G
An all-section goalie, Smith had four shutouts, including a WPIAL first-round win over Belle Vernon where he made several brilliant saves and scored in the end-of-game shootout.
Michael Sullivan, Deer Lakes, so., M
All-WPIAL pick was Lancers’ top playmaker with 12 goals and 11 assists, and he scored the game-winning goal in the PIAA semifinals against Shady Side Academy.
Matt Taliani, Springdale, jr., D
The Dynamos’ sweeper anchored a stingy defensive line that held opponents in check for nearly the entire season. He also scored five goals.
Michael Zolnierczyk, Springdale, sr., G
The Division I recruit allowed just eight goals all season for the WPIAL semifinalists, posting 14 shutouts. He was named Class A Player of the Year.
Alex Barch, Springdale, jr., M
Cole Bennick, Freeport, sr., F
Ryan Butler, Deer Lakes, jr., D
Luke Gildea, Plum, jr., M
Jake Guerrini, Burrell, so., F
Cole Kelly, Plum, jr., D
Josh Miller, Fox Chapel, jr., D
Gabe Norris, Highlands, so., M
Colton Spence, Deer Lakes, so., M
Stevie Teorsky, Freeport, sr., D
Ross Ziemianski, Kiski Area, jr., D
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.