Kiski Area boys hoping to build on chemistry established in 2018

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Friday, August 23, 2019 | 12:01 AM


Midway through last season, the Kiski Area boys soccer team hit its stride.

After a 6-2 win over Armstrong at the end of September, the Cavaliers went on a three-game winning streak that moved them from a game under .500, to two games over. Then, they won five of their final eight games.

“We were all just starting to connect, and we were becoming a family,” senior defender Ross Ziemanski said. “Everyone started bonding together, and something just started to click for us.”

With eight starters returning, the Cavaliers are hoping the chemistry they developed will allow them to go further this season.

Ziemanski, Tyler Ciuca and Owen Anderson highlight a solid senior class that gives sixth-year coach Sean Arnold an extra set of eyes on and off the field. He said he channels his mid-game adjustments through them and relies on them to bring younger players up to speed throughout the season.

The latter will be crucial as a mixture of players young and old will be the key to their success. With the majority of his defense returning, Arnold is hoping younger players will step up to fill holes up front and in the midfield.

“We have some good young guys that should be able to fill those holes,” Arnold said. “We probably have just as many good young players as the ones we lost. So I think it won’t be as tough to fill those holes.”

One void that will be tough to fill will be that of goalkeeper Nick Smith. Before continuing his soccer career at Duquesne, Smith posted four shutouts last year and came up big on several occasions for the Cavs.

Throughout camp, senior Colton Giordano and freshman Maddox Anderson have battled for the starting spot. Arnold said both are technically sound, and he is hopes the competition helps them improve.

“It should be pretty competitive, and they should be able to push each other to try and fill those shoes,” Arnold said.

Last year, Kiski only had two players receive Valley News Dispatch first- and second-team honors. But what the Cavaliers lack in game-changing ability this year, they make up for in consistency.

“Our strength is not really having any weaknesses,” Arnold said. “We’re pretty solid throughout. I wouldn’t say we have that one player that can be a game-changer, but we have a lot of solid players mixed throughout the field. Our consistency will be our strength.”

Last season signified a major change as well because it was the first year the Cavaliers played against Section 1-AAA competition. They finished second with a record of 9-5 behind undefeated Mars.

Ziemanski believes the Cavaliers have what it takes to get the job done this year.

“I think we honestly have a good shot of making it to at least the semis,” he said. “We should definitely win our section. Last year we lost in the second round of the playoffs, but if we can get a higher seed this year, I think we should be able to get past that.”

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

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