Quaker Valley boys soccer displaying championship-caliber form

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Sunday, October 18, 2020 | 11:01 AM


A year ago, the Quaker Valley boys soccer team had a talented senior class that led them to WPIAL and PIAA Class 2A titles.

Eight of them, including Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year Dom Reiter and his twin brother Fritz, combined to score 119 of Quaker Valley’s 175 goals. Combine that with the departure of coach Andrew Marshall and some might have expected the Quakers to take a step back.

In true Quaker Valley soccer fashion, the Quakers have done the opposite.

Through 13 games this season, the Quakers were 11-1-1. They’ve scored 112 goals while only allowing eight and have three double-digit scorers.

First-year head coach J.J. Veshio, who was an assistant with the program since 2008, said although Quaker Valley lost a lot of talent from last year’s championship team, the returning players are motivated to top what they accomplished last season.

In order to do that, Quaker Valley has to do it as a team.

“They knew it was going to be a by-committee-type thing, and it’s evident by how were scoring,” Veshio said. “It’s across the board, and it’s not just one player. They are all friends. They love playing together. They’ve been playing together all year long, and it’s quite clear that it’s clicking with them in a different way then maybe it has the past few years with other players.”

After scoring a combined 33 goals as sophomores last season, Keller Chamowitz and Rowan Kriebel have taken center stage for the Quakers this season. Through 12 games, Chamowitz had a team-high 28 goals with 10 assists, and Kriebel had 25 goals with 14 assists.

Both played crucial roles last season, and Veshio said the juniors wanted to step up in more ways than one.

“It’s been their turn to step up and they want to be leaders, not just statistically but they want to provide for the team,” Veshio said. “They’ve clearly done that in more ways than one and not just in the stats column.”

The Quakers also have players taking over selfless roles in hopes of putting the team in better position to win such as midfielder Ryan Edwards, who recently broke the single-season assist record with 27 this year while also scoring 12 goals.

“He’d be the first to say he likes to pass the ball. He likes to be an assist guy, and that’s something that at the end of last season he wanted to break the career assist record, career and single season,” Veshio said. “He set a goal, and he’s already achieved the first part of it, and he’s well on his way to doing more and I’m very proud of him for that. It’s selfless.”

But the Quakers success comes down to how well they’ve played as a team. They have 102 assists this season and didn’t win by less than six goals in any of their first 12 games.

“It’s just been a team-first mentality, and it’s kind of cliché but when one guy starts to do stuff on their own, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” Veshio said. “But we are starting to see the team gel, more so with our passing and it’s really starting to see some things open up and some special things happen.”

After losing eight talented seniors from a state championship season, the Quakers faced some uncertainty coming into this season but so far this year, they are playing as well as they hoped.

“We were pretty confident with the guys that we had coming back that we’d be able to compete,” Veshio said. “I think our performances so far, I don’t want to say expected or overreaching, but I think based on how we practiced through preseason, we are satisfied with where we are right now.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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