Loaded with seniors, Sewickley Academy boys soccer roster looking forward to season

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Sunday, July 17, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Sewickley Academy’s Michael DiSantis has modest individual goals for the boys soccer season.

“My personal goals are to score more than I did last year and stay healthy throughout the season,” DiSantis said.

DiSantis and Hudson Colletti paced the Panthers in scoring last year and were complemented offensively by Adin Zorn, who led the team in assists. Zorn, like DiSantis, is a senior striker. Colletti is a midfielder.

It’s when DiSantis mentions team goals that he gets pumped up and really excited.

“Our expectation this year is to push for the WPIAL title with most of our key players being seniors,” he said. “We are all super excited and the season is going to be a great one for us.”

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound DiSantis, a fourth-year starter, is anxious to get things started for the 2022 season.

“Everyone has been getting some training in,” he said, “but for the guys heading into their senior year, this summer is super busy. We are all excited to start preseason soon.”

DiSantis, who accounted for 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) as a sophomore, also excels in the classroom with a GPA that hovers around the 4.0 mark.

Last season, DiSantis registered the equivalent of four hat tricks against Southmoreland and Neshannock, as he exploded for 12 goals in the two-game span.

“It felt great being able to rack up a bunch of goals especially at home versus Neshannock,” DiSantis said. “I was not a natural goal scorer, but coach Ale has really helped me learn to be confident in myself. I also think our team has strong chemistry and teamwork, which proves beneficial on the field.”

Coach Ale is Alessandro Moreira, who is in his second year as the Panthers’ field boss.

Moreira, a Brazilian native, said DiSantis excels in all facets of soccer.

“He is very good player with a lot of talent,” Moreira said. “Michael’s strengths are his dribbling, passing and shooting. He is very good with and without the ball, creating space for my middle field players to score.”

DiSantis has competed in the offseason for Beadling Elite South and participated in the boys lacrosse program last year at SA.

Over the years, Sewickley Academy has been a significant force in boys soccer.

The Panthers have not had a losing season since 2010, have won two PIAA and two WPIAL titles, were PIAA finalists five times and finished first or second in section play all 11 years with seven section crowns.

SA eked out a section championship by the narrowest of margins last season, finishing 9-0-1 as Our Lady of the Sacred Heart ended up second at 8-1-1.

The Panthers advanced to the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals, were 12-2-1 overall and outscored the opposition 81-15 on the year as 11 opponents were held to one goal or less, including four via shutouts.

Along with DiSantis, Zorn and Colletti, other returning starters in what appears to be a stacked SA lineup include senior striker Daniel Torres, senior midfielder Lucas Mendonca and, on defense, seniors Garrett Smith, Thomas Varghese, junior Jayden Garcha and sophomore Andrew Colletti. Cooper Wentz, a junior, is the starting goalkeeper once again.

The Colletti brothers, who also play baseball, transferred from Quaker Valley. Both sat out SA’s playoff games last season, Hudson because of a WPIAL transfer rule and Andrew with a broken wrist.

“I am expecting another section title this year as well as a deep run in WPIAL and state playoffs,” Hudson Colletti said. “I was unable to play in the (2021) postseason due to a transfer rule when I came to Sewickley. I’m aiming to score 25 goals this year.

“In preparation for the season, my main focus has been in the gym. Along with our high school practices, I practice on my own and with a few teammates whenever we find free time.”

The elder Colletti brother, who has a 4.05 GPA, founded Free the Music PGH, which placed the public piano within the gazebo in downtown Sewickley.

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