Quaker Valley boys soccer reloads for another run
Friday, August 23, 2019 | 8:28 PM
The reloading process continues for Quaker Valley’s boys soccer team.
Once again, the Quakers graduated a big senior class. Once again, they hope to restock their lineup and reach the WPIAL Class AA title match as they have the past three seasons.
“Quaker Valley has always been good at that. We’ve always had good players graduate, and then the freshman class comes up and we seem to get better,” Quaker Valley senior Fritz Reiter said. “Every year, the cycle keeps going. We’ve had great teams all my years here. Hopefully, we just keep getting better.”
The odds favor Quaker Valley, which lost to Shady Side Academy, 2-1, for the WPIAL title. A 2-1 setback to Deer Lakes in the PIAA quarterfinals ended the squad’s run at 19-5. However, the Quakers are determined to make another deep playoff march this fall.
“We want to keep progressing. States is definitely on our minds,” Reiter said. “But it’s preseason, and things are starting to come together and we’re just focusing on that. We can only go one step at a time.”
Coach Andrew Marshall has been impressed with his players.
“It’s been awesome with this group. It’s such a great atmosphere to be a part of,” he said. “It’s an enjoyable experience from a coaching standpoint. It certainly looks like they are enjoying themselves, minus all the hills.”
A hallmark of the program has been its depth. This season is no different.
“It’s sad to see players leave, but it’s a great opportunity for the next group to come in and leave its imprint. You see those intangibles carry on, and it’s pretty remarkable to watch,” Marshall said. “Each year, I feel like we get deeper. On our full roster, I am confident anyone can step in. In the four years I’ve been here, every player has had varsity minutes. That’s because they deserved it and earned it. It’s kind of scary how many great players there are.”
The Quakers return six starters: senior striker Franky Fernandez, senior left back Nick Kriebel, junior central defensive midfielder Brody Jones, senior central midfielder Fritz Reiter and senior center backs Tommy Guild and Dom Reiter.
“We have a very deep team. We’re going to have great subs to keep us fresh. That’s what we’ve been used to,” Fritz Reiter said. “We have some players that have progressed tremendously. We did reload, and I think we’ll be good on that front.”
Competition is intense at goalkeeper. Senior Rees Edwards is battling sophomore Zach Buhr and freshman Isaac Waller.
“I think that position has shown some great competition,” Marshall said. “It’s a big position to fill. Every team relies on a solid goalkeeper.”
Overall, Marshall likes the versatility the Quakers bring throughout the lineup.
“Each team has a little difference to it. It’s not always just the seniors or the captains. One of our identities this year will be our athleticism. We probably have the athleticism similar to some of the bigger schools,” he said. “The mentality of this group is a strength. If things are not going our way or the ball is not bouncing our way, I think this group will find a way to stay determined and persevere and get something out of each game. I am excited to see that.”
Quaker Valley went unbeaten (12-0) to claim the Section 4-AA title last year. The squad hopes it can run the table again.
“I think the section will be similar to last year. We have good teams in our section,” Fritz Reiter said. “The goal, again, is to win the section and go undefeated. I hope we can do it. I think we have a strong enough team to do it. It’s just a matter of who is committed the most.”
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.
Tags: Quaker Valley
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