Pine-Richland soccer focused on program-building process

Friday, October 4, 2019 | 6:55 PM

The Pine-Richland boys soccer team has seen its fair share of ups and downs in head coach Jordan Wiegand’s first season leading the program.

Although the Rams’ 5-9 overall record and 4-7 mark in Section 1-AAAA play may not have them positioned for the success that they hoped to enjoy this season, there have been plenty of positives to take away from the bulk of their skirmishes, according to Wiegand.

“As the scores show, we’ve been competitive in every single game, and we’ve been playing some wonderfully tough opponents,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we’re just a younger team with some inexperience, and with that, our mistakes catch up to us more than other teams. But it’s a learning curve. We’re still pressing forward. The process has been going well. We’re seeing better play out of our guys. It takes time. We just can’t seem to get on the right end of the result yet.”

One player that’s flourished in the first-year head coach’s new system is Vince Roller. The senior opened up his season by scoring a goal in each of his team’s first 10 games. In total, Roller has 11 goals—making him one of the most prolific scorers in Class AAAA this season.

Yet, the Rams’ overall play hasn’t exactly displayed the same level of consistency as Roller has individually. At this point, Pine-Richland is still mathematically in contention for fourth place in the Section 1-AAAA standings and the playoff birth that comes with it. In order to ascend to that position, however, they must topple No. 1 Seneca Valley (11-1-1, 10-0-1), Central Catholic (4-10, 2-9) and North Allegheny (8-5, 6-5)—in that order.

Qualifying for the Class AAAA playoffs remains a tall task for Pine-Richland, but the final chapter to its season is yet to be written. Regardless of what the team’s final weeks of play hold for them, their coach says he’s very encouraged by what he has seen from his group.

“At the end of the day, making the playoffs is our goal,” Wiegand said. “That’s hit or miss, now. But I’ll tell you that this is a mentally strong group that is ready to compete every time they step out on the field.

“The best part about it all is the kids are learning, they’re developing, and even when things aren’t going our way, they’re enjoying the game. That’s the main thing I want to instill in this program—enjoy the game, learn and develop. And if you buy into the process, in due time, it’ll all pay off.”


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