Shaler boys soccer gains experience, measure of revenge

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Sunday, October 18, 2020 | 11:01 AM


Twenty-seven days made a world of difference for the Shaler Area boys soccer team.

TJ Tylenda scored twice in the second half and the Titans regained self-respect during a 2-1 Section 1-4A victory over Pine-Richland on Oct. 6 at home.

The Rams beat up Shaler a little less than a month earlier.

“Our focus improved,” Titans coach Adam Hunter said. “We were coming off a Fox Chapel game where we didn’t get the result we could have. Losing 7-0 the first time didn’t reflect the way we could play. We didn’t feel they were seven goals better than us, and we were motivated to prove it.”

The Titans (4-8, 2-8) had their share of growing pains before finding their offensive touch. Shaler was outscored 15-0 during its first four games before snapping the skid with a 9-2 victory over Highlands.

The Titans benefited from players getting healthy. Sophomore Josh Jashinski returned from a hip injury and helped get Shaler’s offense moving.

AJ Deleonibus and Tylenda have also been in on the attack.

“We have been controlling the ball consistently,” Hunter said. “We have a strong nucleus in the middle of the park with Josh Jashinski and Ross Hartley. They are two technically skilled players and move the ball through the field while our outside forwards are creating havoc.

Shaler’s offensive prowess also emerged in a 3-0 victory over Greensburg Salem.

Although the Titans are eliminated from the WPIAL playoff chase, Hunter believes this season could serve as a springboard. He saw Shaler’s last three games — against Brashear, Seneca Valley and North Hills — as being more than opportunities to pick up wins: His players will get more game experience.

The Titans have 22 players on the roster, and Hunter believes 18 or 19 saw a good amount of playing time.

“One thing that’s been great is all seven seniors got playing time,” Hunter said. “We were also able to give experience to younger players. Next year when they come in, they will know what to expect, and it’s a different style than the club game. That’s what we need to build off of.”

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