North Hills boys soccer strives to complete turnaround

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Thursday, August 29, 2019 | 6:00 PM


From the start of the 2017 season to the early stages of the ‘18 season, the North Hills boys soccer team went 2-21-1.

But in their final 12 contests last season, the Indians ran off a record of 7-5 to right the ship. Now, with 13 seniors bolstering this year’s roster, North Hills is sailing into the 2019 season confident it can capitalize on last year’s late-season burst.

“It was almost like we had to learn how to lose before we could learn how to win,” coach Jared Steigerwald said. “In the first half of last season, we didn’t prepare ourselves the best that we could. We were building endurance, getting in game shape and in the meantime, we lost four or five games.

“We turned it around in the second half of the year and ended up barely missing playoffs. So we’re coming into this year optimistic that we can continue building in order to make the playoffs this time.”

Steigerwald credited the leaders for last year’s turnaround and said he anticipates they again will have a big impact. Two of those players, seniors Nate Saul and Duncan Kreps, resume their roles as captains.

While Saul and Kreps are designated as the captains, Steigerwald said senior Nick Sciulli and twin brothers Aaron and Seth Pepmeyer are all alternate captains.

During the offseason, the five members of North Hills’ leadership contingent helped lead the way by organizing competitive winter league play and fostering the development of the team’s younger players.

One of those younger players is Nathan Adamietz, a freshman whom Steigerwald said has impressed since the beginning of offseason workouts. Adamietz is expected to get his share of playing time.

Additionally, North Hills is expecting a productive fall from Marlon Guevara, who led the team in goals last season.

“He’s a special player. He’s got a lot of talent and has a knack for finding the net,” Steigerwald said. “Now, what we’re trying to do is just trying to figure out who can play with him and provide a complement to his abilities.”

The pieces are in place, Steigerwald said, and having experienced last season’s ups and downs, the Indians appear determined to enjoy more ups in 2019.

“We want to get back to the playoffs. These guys want to see what it’s like,” the sixth-year coach said. “They just have to play within themselves and complete the cohesion they built as a team through the adversity and success of last season.

“If they just maintain that level line and stay consistent, no matter what, they can have that success.”

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