Deer Lakes looking to build on historic 2018 season

Monday, August 19, 2019 | 6:27 PM

The Deer Lakes girls soccer team won’t be short on fire power in 2019.

A year after winning their first section title and advancing to the WPIAL semifinals for the first time in a decade, the Lancers return nine starters and two all-WPIAL selections, including 2018 Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year Madeline Boulos, who scored 24 goals with 16 assists as a freshman.

Coach Frank Accetta also returns junior Lily Litrun (23 goals and 12 assists), Madeline’s older sister, Abigail Boulsos (12 goals and 16 assists) and junior captain Nina Lafko, who scored 11 goals last year.

Youth and talent has been the name of the game for Deer Lakes the past two seasons as they produced 28 wins, but when it came to the playoffs, they lacked experience. Accetta hopes his team has learned enough to thrive.

“Two years ago, we lost in the first round of the playoffs, and I thought we should’ve gone further, but they were all freshmen,” Accetta said. “Then, we lost in the WPIAL semifinals last year. So, I’m hoping the lessons they’ve learned the past two years will resonate this year, and we can go even further.”

A lot of things could be attributed to Deer Lakes’ success in the regular season. While talent played a big role, Madeline Boulos believes team chemistry was a big factor.

“Since we’ve been playing together so for long, we kind of know how each other play. We are able to work off of each other,” she said. “So, I think that team chemistry is definitely there, and I think it will keep improving as we get older.”

To take that next step, Accetta has picked out a few areas for improvement, including solidifying the defense.

With two varsity-caliber goalkeepers in senior Gabby Weber and junior Jaiden Cutright, Accetta said Weber could see some time on defense.

Fitness is another area he thought needed addressed.

“I think it’s always important,” Accetta said. “I’m convinced that we lost two playoff games last year based upon our fitness in the second half, and there’s no doubt about it. It’s important. You can be the most talented team in the world, but if you can’t move after 55 minutes, you’re no good to anyone.”

The Lancers are looking to build upon the success they’ve experienced the past two years and are yearning the season to last longer.

“We’re ready to get started, were ready to play good soccer, and were motivated to get farther,” Lafko said.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at or via Twitter .


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