Monessen boys soccer embarks under 1st new coach in 14 years

Saturday, August 24, 2019 | 8:15 PM

For the last decade and a half, Sam Perry played a crucial role in building a successful boys soccer program at Monessen. After 14 seasons, Donnie Caterino will take over for Perry as coach.

Perry, who resigned during the offseason, led Monessen to two section championships and made 11 trips to the WPIAL playoffs.

In his final season, Perry led Monessen to a 9-5-2 overall record, 7-4-1 in Section 4-A. The Greyhounds, who finished fourth in the section, ended the year with a 5-2 loss to Sewickley Academy in the first round the WPIAL Class A playoffs.

Caterino, who has been involved with the Washington County Youth Soccer program the last two decades and is a high school soccer referee, understands the pressure of following Perry but is looking to continue what Perry built at Monessen by making another playoff appearance in his first year.

“There’s a lot expectations from the boys and the parents. Monessen isn’t a very big school, and we’re not known as a soccer school. The boys take pride in the program,” Caterino said.

“I’ve known the kids for years, and it was really easy to slide in. I feel a little pressure with the history the program has had. But if the boys go out there and do what I know they can do, then we will be very competitive in our section.”

The Greyhounds look to replace five starters who graduated. Monessen graduated defenders Zach Evans, Dishon Howell and Marcus Tansmore as well as goalkeeper Nate Lynch and striker Tyler Swann.

Caterino will lean on the return of senior striker Cam Frolo, who was selected all-WPIAL and all-section as a junior. Frolo will co-captain with senior defender Dylan Bradshaw.

“Last year, I was counted on as one but not as big since I wasn’t a senior. I feel like I’ll be able to keep everyone under control if we are down in a game,” Frolo said.

“I’ll make sure everyone keeps their heads up and plays the way they know how to play.”

The Greyhounds, who have nine juniors on the 16-man roster, will look for continued growth from junior midfielders Morgan Madison and Chas Mrlack as well as junior defender Alex Danko.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jack Sacco will take over for Lynch in net this season.

Caterino will have a few first-time players on his roster this season, including seniors Dom Tineri, a football player, and Dawayne Howell.

“I’m trying to preach to them that I don’t have 11 boys on the field, but I have one team on the field. I don’t want individuals, I want a team,” Caterino said.

The Greyhounds’ previous two seasons ended with losses in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. Monessen lost to Winchester-Thurston, 3-0, in 2017 before losing to Sewickley Academy last year.

Frolo is looking to make sure the Greyhounds don’t suffer another early exit in his final high school season.

“We all want to make it past the first round. The last two years, we lost in the first round. If we play as a team, we will have a good chance to make it out of the first round and not have another early exit,” Frolo said.

The Greyhounds start their season with the Belle Vernon Tournament. Monessen will face Belle Vernon at 6:45 p.m. on Aug. 31 and Highlands at 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 1.

Monessen start Section 4-A play with a match at home against Bishop Canevin on Sept. 3. The Greyhounds finished just behind Bishop Canevin in section play last season. PIAA participant Seton-LaSalle and Brentwood finished one and two in Section 4-A.


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