Shaler boys soccer tried to get in sync during up-and-down season
Sunday, November 1, 2020 | 11:01 AM
Shaler senior Ross Hartley saw the pattern for the boys soccer team shortly after a 6-0 loss to Fox Chapel.
“From the beginning of the season, we were disconnected,” Hartley said. “We got more connected during the middle of the season. Toward the end of the end of the season, we got disconnected again.”
The Titans were able to get in sync as the season came to a close. Shaler (6-9, 3-9) won two of its final three games to wrap up the season.
AJ Deleonibus and Matt Keenan each recorded hat tricks to help the Titans pummel Brashear, 7-1, while sophomore Tyler Evangelista netted a second-half winner in a 2-1 victory over Section 1-4A rival North Hills.
Shaler coach Adam Hunter thought the Titans even played well in a 6-1 loss to Seneca Valley that was sandwiched between the wins. In that contest, Shaler was undone by a red card after it was already behind 2-1.
“We felt we were in that game for a good bit of it,” Hunter said. “Unfortunately, a questionable red card turned the game around. That made things appear worse than they were.”
After starting 0-4, Shaler played above .500 for the last part of its schedule. The Titans’ biggest win was a 2-1 victory over a Pine-Richland team it lost to 7-0 during their first meeting.
“We had to finish our opportunities,” Hunter said. “We have to play mistake-free. There were games where we could have been up but missed opportunities. Next year, we need to correct the mental lapses and focus on playing 80 minutes.”
Shaler will lose seven players — TJ Tylenda, Austin Frantz, Luke Warren, Jeremy Mauerer, Brian Seidl, Hartley and DeLeonibus — to graduation. Maurer wasa three-year starter in goal for the Titans.
Hunter is sorry to see them go.
He also believes Shaler has a solid core returning which will allow the Titans to challenge for a playoff spot.
“I think we absolutely will,” said Hunter about the possibility of benefitting from more nonconference games next season. “We’ll be able to get our two scrimmages in. If we get one or two out-of-section matches in, we should be able to be in a much better position. We have a lot of depth returning.”
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