Kiski Area girls soccer team faces stiff section test

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 6:13 PM


Reagan Frederick didn’t expect to finish last season as the top goal scorer for the Kiski Area girls soccer team in its charge to the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals.

“I wasn’t the only forward up top, and we had a lot of players who could score,” said Frederick, an All-WPIAL performer who ended her junior campaign with 21 goals.

“My teammates relied on me a lot, and I worked hard to take every opportunity I could get. It could’ve been any number of players to finish leading the team in scoring.”

Frederick hopes to be a difference-maker back in a scoring role for the Cavaliers, but she knows that there again is a strong collection of players who can put the ball in the back of the net.

“Me just coming in fresh this year, I had heard a lot about Reagan from newspaper reporters to other players and coaches,” Kiski first-year coach Mike Spagnolo said.

“They were saying that with Reagan back, she should have another good year. The only thing I hope for her is that she doesn’t put that pressure on herself and lets the game come to her.”

Seeing the scoring spread around to several players, Frederick said, will be a key piece of the plan as Kiski Area battles over the next several weeks in what is shaping up to be a competitive Section 1-AAA.

“We all have similar talents on this team, and we all can make a difference,” Frederick said.

“With people like (senior) Sidney Palla and (junior) Kaylee Elwood up top, and (freshman) Riley Koziatek also, we all take the opportunity if we have it.”

Palla and Elwood converted scoring chances Monday in a 2-0 section victory over Gateway, and the defense and sophomore goalkeeper Kira Brown helped the advantage stand up. It was a bounce-back win from Saturday’s 3-2 loss to section rival Hampton.

“Reagan, Sidney and Kaylee working together. They switch on and off from center forward to center mid to forward depending on how the game goes,” Spagnolo said.

“We have a lot of people who are scoring threats, and we feel that once we get through the first half of the section schedule and other teams see how we’re lined up, it should open up bigger opportunities for others, too.”

The Cavaliers, 2-1 overall and 1-1 in section play, travel to Franklin Regional (2-2, 2-1) on Wednesday for another key early-season section matchup.

“Gateway was good competition for us, and we gained a lot of confidence back after the Hampton loss,” Frederick said. “We have to expect to win (Wednesday), but we also have to make sure we go in ready to play our best.”

Franklin Regional staked its share in the section with a 3-1 win at Hampton on Monday. The Cavaliers, Talbots, Panthers are 2-1 in section play behind defending section champion and WPIAL runner-up Mars (3-0).

“We didn’t have an opportunity to practice between Saturday and Monday, but I told the girls they could grow a lot from that loss (to Hampton), and we talked things over,” Spagnolo said. “That loss didn’t define us as a team, and we were able to come out (Monday) and play hard from the front all the way to the back and pick up a heartfelt win.”

Beyond Franklin Regional, the Cavaliers own a stretch of games that should continue to test their mettle.

It begins Friday at Class AAAA No. 2 Norwin and continues back in section Monday at home against Indiana before a Sept. 18 trip to Mars.

“Coming into a new section last year, it took a lot of getting used to how each team played,” Frederick said. “We’re still getting used to it in some ways, but if we continue to work well as a team, we can make a nice run to the playoffs again.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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