Freeport boys soccer confident it can compete in tough section

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019 | 6:50 PM


There have been plenty of good on-field moments the last few years for Freeport boys soccer, but one thing that always has stuck out for coach Dave Teorsky didn’t happen in a game.

“One of the cool lines I can remember from a year or so ago was one player commenting about how they loved wearing their Freeport soccer gear in school and in the community,” Teorsky said. “It’s not some designer label. They’re proud to wear that jersey, and that really says something to me.”

For Teorsky, the pride his players show every year is the mark of a good program. Another mark is having returning talent every year, and Freeport has that again.

The Yellowjackets return seven starters, which has them excited to battle tough section foes such as defending WPIAL Class 2A champion Shady Side Academy and PIAA runner-up Deer Lakes.

Freeport graduated three big contributors — Stevie Teorksy, Brock Loevlie and Tanner Hoscheid — from a team that finished 8-11 and lost to Quaker Valley in the first round of the playoffs, but returns players with starting experience at every position. Stevie Teorsky’s, the coach’s son, has moved into a coaching role with the junior varsity team.

Luke Heider, a senior, is back in goal. Teorsky lauded his keeper for his personality and ability to command the back line.

Sophomore Jonathan Merli and junior Christian Waronsky are returning starters at center back. The midfield is intact from last season with seniors Hunter Hardin and Danny Lynch back.

Hardin was an All-Section player last season and will look to build off that going into his final season.

“He’s a high-energy, creative player,” Teorsky said. “We’re looking for big things from him his senior year. We see him playing in an attacking midfielder role. We call him our engine because he really makes this team go. He’s a great distributor of the ball, and he can also finish with both power and finesse.”

Striker Addison Stewart, a senior, is back as well. Stewart also plays hockey, and Teorsky said he is a quiet kid but one who can unleash a powerful, accurate shot.

Having the WPIAL champion and state runner-up in the section makes for tough competition, but adding Mt. Pleasant, which won the Section 2-2A title in 2017, and a Burrell team that finished one game behind Freeport in the standings a season ago makes it even tougher.

Valley and Derry are also in Section 2.

“There’s no question it’s a very difficult section, but we feel like if we play well we can play with anybody,” Teorsky said. “If we don’t play well on any given day, then we could go down. I think that really gets our boys’ attention. They know that this program is alive and well and if we do what we know we are capable of we can compete with anyone.”

Freeport showed it can compete last year, beating Shady Side Academy, 3-2, in the first meeting and taking Deer Lakes to double overtime before losing 4-3 in the final seconds. The rematches didn’t go as well, losing 7-1 to Shady Side Academy and 7-0 to the Lancers.

The second meetings provided learning experiences for this fall.

“The first time we played Deer Lakes we played really well and were focused,” Hardin said. “We ended up losing in double overtime, but we played extremely well together and everyone was working hard. The second time around we were not the same. Knowing physically that we could do it and not being mentally clocked in was tough. That was something we learned last year. You never know when a team is going to do a slow restart or a fast restart so you always have to be ready mentally.”

When Lynch, Heider, and Hardin were freshmen, Freeport won a section title, and it is something they would like to replicate in their final season.

“We feel like we can do it with this group of boys,” Heider said. “We’re tired after practice. We’re sore, but it’s been nonstop pushing. We’re improving and we’re looking great.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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