Michael DiSantis shows scoring touch for Sewickley Academy boys soccer

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Sunday, September 26, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Welcome to the “Michael DiSantis Show,” which played to excellent reviews at Sewickley Academy early this season.

DiSantis, a junior midfielder and third-year starter, sparked SA boys soccer to a 4-0 start with impressive section wins against Beaver County Christian, Southmoreland, Neshannock and Riverside.

DiSantis erupted for 12 goals in a two-game span, peppering in six against both Southmoreland and Neshannock.

“I do like what I saw in those four games,” said Alessandro Moreira, SA’s first-year coach. “I am very happy with our performance, but we still need to keeping improving our skills with high intensity training, and the tactics part of the game, to be a better team.”

Through Sept. 22, DiSantis, who held a 4.0 GPA as a sophomore, led the Panthers in scoring with 16 goals and one assist. That’s after a sophomore season in which he finished with eight goals and 12 assists.

DiSantis netted the equivalent of four hat tricks in his two-game explosion.

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

The 6-foot, 175-pound DiSantis believes the Panthers are gearing for a section title and hopefully having a strong run in the playoffs, as well.

“Our strength is definitely our hustle,” he said. “We have guys that nonstop are on top of the ball, and they’re always quick to get it back.”

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

“He is very good player with a lot talent,” Moreira said, “and every game his performance improves a lot.

“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 began playing soccer at age 10. He also competes in the offseason for Beadling Elite South, and participated in lacrosse last year at SA.

Sewickley Academy tacked on a 4-1 nonsection win Sept. 20 and a 7-1 section victory over South Side on Sept. 21 at Brentwood to extend its record to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in Section 1-A.

Through six games, the Panthers had outscored the opposition 50-4 and posted two shutouts.

SA’s returning starters this fall consisted of DiSantis, senior defenders Josh Chico, William Vanella and Alex Marquis; senior midfielder Sean Donohue; junior midfielder Thomas Varghese and junior forward Adin Zorn.

Chico, a four-year starter, anchors a starting defensive unit that also includes Marquis, Vanella and freshman Andrew Colletti. Sophomore Cooper Wentz is the starting goalkeeper.

The addition of juniors Lucas Medeonca and Hudson Colletti has helped bolster the midfield area for the Panthers, while Colletti’s younger brother, Andrew, is a top freshman midfielder.

SA’s starting lineup consists of Wentz (GK), Vanella (RB), Chico (D), Marquis (D), junior Garrett Smith (LB), Donohue (M), Mendonça (M), Hudson Colletti (M), Zorn (RW), DiSantis (F) and Varghese (F). Chico, Zorn and DiSantis are team captains.

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