Penn Hills notebook: Girls soccer team learning on job

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Sunday, September 18, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Inexperience has made the early season difficult for the Penn Hills girls soccer team. The Indians had to drop right into the snakepit that is WPIAL Section 3-3A play without any nonsection games to warm up.

The Indians, who lost 7-0 to three-time defending WPIAL runner-up Plum on Wednesday night at Nate Ferraco Field, have started the season 1-7 overall and 0-5 in section.

Penn Hills’ lone victory came in a 6-1 win over McKeesport Sept. 1 on the road. The Indians have 15 players on the team.

Penn Hills is routinely playing five freshmen, eight juniors and two sophomores.

“I think they’ve handled the transition and adversity of playing the top teams in the section well,” first-year Indians coach Myron Cook. “We know our strengths and weaknesses well. For us, it’s about the girls having confidence in each other and in themselves.”

Penn Hills didn’t catch a break in the section realignment. The Indians were joined in the section by perennial contenders Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford and Latrobe.

Penn Hills has seen a lot of players step into key roles this season. Maliah Powell, Paris Blair, Kaidyn Thomas, Sarah Gamza and Mckenna Carricato have all had successful seasons playing in different roles.

“These girls are learning on the job,” Cook said. “We have a young team that doesn’t have the experience of the other teams we are playing. We want to continue to get these girls on the team experience and get them to do things we need to be successful. They will learn playing against these teams with more players with experience who are older.”

Penn Hills will have a long climb back into the playoff race. In the Indians’ section games so far this season, Penn Hills has been outscored 32-2. The Indians played their closet section game, a 2-1 home loss to Greensburg Salem, Sept. 7.

“We have a lot of girls who were in backup roles last season and have been asked to step up,” Cook said. “We also have a lot of players who have different responsibilities for us this season. We have a youthful team. We just need to learn from our experiences.”

Kelly commits to Quinnipiac

Penn Hills senior basketball player Daemar Kelly announced on Twitter on Sept. 14 that he will be playing basketball at Division I Quinnipiac.

Quinnipiac plays basketball in the Metro Athletic Athletic Conference. The Bobcats finished last season 14-17 with a 7-13 record in conference play. Kelly helped Penn Hills reach the PIAA Class 5A quarterfinals last season.

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