Westmoreland County senior spotlight: Mt. Pleasant’s Dylan Donitzen

Monday, October 3, 2022 | 10:45 AM

The Mt. Pleasant boys soccer team got off to a solid start this season, going 5-4-1 overall with an even more impressive 5-1-1 section record.

It was good enough to put the Vikings in the Section 3-2A title conversation, in second place behind Belle Vernon.

Senior midfielder Dylan Donitzen is happy with how the team performed in the early going, outside of a loss to the Leopards.

“We started out the way we wanted to,” Donitzen said. “Some games were a little close, but we did come out strong.”

Mt. Pleasant undoubtedly has one of the younger teams around, starting five freshmen at times this season. Donitzen explained the situation from his perspective.

“It can be hard, because it’s a lot different from middle school,” Donitzen said. “Now, since it’s the middle of the season, they’re starting to understand how to play varsity and everything like that.”

Donitzen was named one of the Vikings’ team captains this season, along with his twin brother, Derek, who is the team’s starting goaltender.

Both of the Donitzen brothers have switched positions since the beginning of high school, with Dylan moving from center back to his current midfielder position and Derek going from a right wing to between the posts.

There’s actually a special reason why Derek became a goalie.

“Derek, he has a hip deformity, and it prevents him from running around and everything,” Donitzen said. “It’s really painful (for) him, so he had to step back and play goalie.”

Donitzen has not decided on his plans for after high school, but he’s leaning toward studying engineering in community college and playing soccer as well.

This week, Donitzen took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q and A:

How did you get started with soccer?

My older siblings were playing. I’d always go to their games. I always wanted to be like them, and that’s how I started to play.

What kind of an honor is being a team captain?

It’s a really big honor. I care a lot about this sport and my team. When I was a freshman, I always looked up to the senior captains, and I wanted to be in that position. It means everything to me that I am the senior captain.

What do you feel like your biggest strength is?

I think my biggest strength is being able to see the whole field, the vision, like where I need to make a pass, where I need to take a shot. (I know) where everyone needs to be. So, my vision, I would say.

Is there an area where you could improve?

I think I could definitely improve my foot skill. Getting a touch on the ball coming out of the air, it’s a little rough. I’m working on it at practice right now, and it’s starting to get better. That is definitely my weak point.

How is the transition from center back to midfielder going?

At first, I started in the spring with travel after the soccer season. It was hard because I’d never played that position before. I really had to get used to it. My teammates, Luke Rivardo and Chase McCloy, have really helped me understand the position. Coach Floyd (Snyder) as well. Right now, I think I’m understanding it, and I think that’s a pretty solid spot for me.

What is one thing that people may not know about you?

I think that I’m pretty intelligent in the math area. That’s why I wanted to go for engineering.


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