Quaker Valley boys soccer continues section dominance

Friday, September 20, 2019 | 7:52 PM

While the players may change on a yearly basis, one thing remains constant for Quaker Valley’s boys soccer team: The Quakers dominate section play.

A 3-0 win over North Catholic pushed Quaker Valley’s WPIAL Section 4-AA record to 5-0. It marked the program’s 37th consecutive section victory. The Quakers’ last section loss came on Oct. 15, 2015, 2-1 to Montour.

“In section play, we’re starting to learn how our teammates play. We’re building off that and playing off each other, which is a great thing and what you need for a successful team,” Quaker Valley senior Fritz Reiter said.

“It’s a great feeling to beat a team like North Catholic. They have a lot of talent and they are good team. We expect to see them down the line in the playoffs, too. We knew what we had to do and we executed to the best of our ability. It was nice to do that, but we have to keep progressing from here.”

The team’s toughest tests came at the beginning of the season against three state powers. Quaker Valley beat Exeter Township, 3-1, in the East-West Classic opener at Highmark Stadium, but dropped a 3-2 decision to Fleetwood the next day. West Allegheny handed the Quakers a 3-1 defeat in a nonsection game as well.

“We really like to schedule those hard games early to get us into a mode of playing against those top teams even before section play. We always want to compete with the very best,” Quaker Valley senior Dom Reiter said. “So, getting those games early was really helpful for us. We learned from our mistakes in those games and built off them.

“We had some small technical errors and rust in those early games,” he continued. “We know we want to be right there with those kinds of teams. So, that really motivated us to clean up our play. We’ve really grown. The chemistry is definitely there. Our defense has jelled. We just have to keep it going.”

After giving up a pair of goals in a 15-2 win over New Brighton to start section play, Quaker Valley’s defense was perfect in its next four victories.

“I think we’re are at our prime. We struggled a bit in the beginning of the year, but we switched some things around and just now we’re starting to hit our stride,” Quaker Valley senior defender Tommy Guild said. “That North Catholic game was probably the best game we’ve played. We were all on the same page, communicating and moving the ball. I am loving the way we’re playing right now.”

Nick Kriebel, Blaise Burns, Franky Fernandez and Weston Grant are some of the players joining Guild on defense in front of goalkeeper Rees Edwards.

“The defense is playing phenomenal soccer right now,” Fritz Reiter said. “Every time we play, they build up chemistry more and more.”

The Quakers’ offense has been pretty productive as well. The squad outscored its first five section foes, 47-2. Dom Reiter, a Pitt recruit, has been one of the top scorers at striker, but he’s not the team’s only threat.

“I think everyone is chipping in. We’re getting goals from all parts of the field. We really pride ourselves on everyone being able to score goals,” he said. “Being able to rely on other people when someone has an off day is really important. In playoffs, just one bad game can end your season. If you have someone else who can step up and score, that makes you more dangerous as a team.”

Quaker Valley just wants to keep up its strong start as it approaches the second half of section play.

“We’re all happy now that we’re getting the results we want,” Guild said. “But we have to have our focus at 100 percent. We have to come out every practice pretending like it is a game. There’s a lot of pressure, but when things are going your way, it’s a lot of fun. We want to continue that.”

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.


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