New coach hopes to bring stability to Chartiers Valley girls soccer program

Sunday, September 24, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Stability is key for a successful program. This is exactly what first-year coach Dave Zinski is looking to bring to the Chartiers Valley girls soccer program.

Zinski, the Colts’ third coach in four years, has been trying to put his fingerprints on the team by injecting positivity around a program that hasn’t reached the WPIAL playoffs since 2017.

“I wanted to talk to the girls and the parents and let them know I want to be here for a long time. I live in the Chartiers Valley School District, my kids go to Chartiers Valley. I’m all in on this program,” Zinski said.

“They need a culture change. They haven’t been successful for a while. It hasn’t been a great run for them. I wanted to bring in a new attitude and new positivity around the program. It’s going to take a little bit and it’s going to take hard work, but I’m here for the long haul.”

This isn’t an unfamiliar spot for Zinski. The Carlynton alum previously turned around programs when he coached the Carlynton girls soccer team from 2012-14 and Baldwin boys soccer team from 2018-20.

Zinski led both programs to the WPIAL playoffs during his tenure after extended playoff droughts.

“I’ve been stressing to them that every day their job is to show up and get better,” he said. “When we go to any game, our job is to compete the best we can. It’s going to take some buy-in from them and they need to trust the process is going to work.”

Results might not come right away after two of Zinski’s top players went down with season-ending knee injuries. Senior forward Zoe Fries, a Duquesne commit, and sophomore midfielder Kennedy Kuntz both went down with torn ACLs.

Kuntz scored a goal in the Colts’ 2-1 win over Mercyhurst Prep in the South Hills Classic on Aug. 27.

Without Fries and Kuntz, the Colts have been looking for the correct combination to generate offense. Chartiers Valley has tallied only five goals in its first eight matches.

Sophomore midfielder Sofia Lamatrice scored the other goal in the win over Mercyhurst Prep. Senior forward Autumn Weitzel and freshman midfielder Katie Kladakis scored goals in a 2-0 win over Trinity in Section 4-3A action on Sept. 6.

Senior goalkeeper Payton O’Malley, a Bowling Green commit, recorded the shutout against Trinity and held North Hills scoreless in a 1-0 win that was settled in penalty kicks.

Senior defender Rhiannon Molnar has anchored the backline for the Colts.

Just like the boys soccer team, the girls team has played all of their games so far on the road. Zinski is excited to play the rest of the season at home and is hoping to see how the Colts play knowing they don’t need to travel for another away game.

Chartiers Valley has been shut out in all five losses this season.

“It’s just making sure they get better every day and keeping them engaged. I try to make this a family atmosphere,” Zinski said.

“I want them to be excited to come to practice no matter if we won or lost the game before. We have to come in with the same attitude that we are going to work and get better every day.”


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