Latrobe girls soccer team ready for next step

Thursday, August 22, 2019 | 6:42 PM

After making incremental progress last fall and finishing with two wins in challenging Section 3-4A, the Latrobe girls soccer team is looking to take another step forward this season.

The Wildcats return nearly their entire roster, and coach Jamie Morrison said she is encouraged by the preseason.

“The chemistry that we’ve seen between the girls is really a strength. They’re doing a nice job of connecting with one another, being composed with the ball and finding each other’s feet,” said Morrison, whose team finished 3-13 overall and 2-10 in section last year.

“They’ve kind of blown me out of the water because they haven’t missed many steps, and they were in sync with one another. They do a nice job of communicating and finding those angles. It makes me excited for the start of the season. I’m looking forward to seeing that continue.”

Latrobe features three seniors: Madison Shafron, Sophia Hoch and first-year player Faith Mucci.

Shafron, a captain for the second straight year, was honorable mention all-section performer at center back last season. Shafron said she also notices a difference in her team’s level of play.

“We look better,” Shafron said. “I think having the majority of girls come back with more than one year of experience playing with each other benefits us and our style of play.

“It helps us mesh well together, and I think it will lead to a more successful season for us.

Hoch, an outside midfielder, is also a captain and embraces the responsibility.

“We have a lot of younger players on the team that are coming up and can help us,” Hoch said.

“It’s weird being the upperclassman on the team now, but I’m glad to be in that role because I remember being in their shoes. It’s a total experience, being on the team together, and I want to help set them up for success.”

Mucci is a track and field standout. She finished fourth at last year’s WPIAL Class AAA championships in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Morrison said she will try to utilize Mucci’s speed and athleticism.

The third captain is center midfielder Maddie Delucio, who was first-team all-section last season.

“She’s our look-to player,” Morrison said.

“She elevates our team as a role model on the field by demonstrating the skills she brings to the table and by bringing her work ethic every day. Every time she’s out there, she’s giving 150%. It gives the younger players an example, something to strive toward for their own high school careers.”

Latrobe’s roster also has plenty of newcomers. One of them, freshman Sophia DeCerb, will play goalkeeper. Another freshman, Chloe Boyette, has earned herself a role on the back line.

Latrobe begins its regular season at 11 a.m. Aug. 31 at the Belle Vernon Tournament against Monessen.


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