With a team-first mentality, Zane Ingram is leading Fox Chapel to fast start

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Monday, September 16, 2019 | 7:29 PM


Ever since Zane Ingram joined the Fox Chapel boys soccer program as a freshman, he’s always put the team first.

“Where the team needs him, he goes,” said Fox Chapel coach Erik Ingram, who also doubles as Zane’s dad.

That journey has taken Zane from playing as an outside back to center forward, and Erik said the plan this season was to play Zane as a central midfielder, but he’s already played several other positions.

Along the voyage from undersized freshman to team captain, Zane has improved in a myriad of ways. His talents on the field have improved, his leadership qualities have developed and he’s become a staple in the success of the Fox Chapel program.

As a forward last season, Zane led the team with 11 goals, six being game winners, and also added nine assists. Being a team-oriented player, Zane takes pride in the latter statistic and his ability to create offense for the players around him, doing whatever it takes to help the team win.

“I’ve always been really good at finding the right places to send the ball. I feel like that’s what I’ve been able to do that’s helped the team the most,” Zane said. “But, I mean nobody is ever going to say no to scoring a goal. I just think facilitating the ball is how I help the team the most.”

Changing positions as much as Zane has can be tough. Each position requires a different set of skills and a different approach to the game. He’s made those transitions look simple at times. He’s a three-time All-Section selection and has also been named to the All-WPIAL team twice.

Erik believes that his ability to play any position comes from his knowledge of the game.

“He has a strong skill set, but I think it’s his tactical awareness that allows him to play all of those positions,” Erik said. “He knows what is required at each position and how to play it.”

Zane also had to adapt to each position along the way.

As a freshmen at outside back, Zane said he would play passes to a midfielder or make runs up the sideline on occasion, but he kept it simple. As a midfielder, his field awareness became evident as he’s shown off the ability to move the ball and execute long passes to teammates making runs into the offensive end.

So far this season, Zane has distributed five assists and has played a crucial leadership role that has allowed the Foxes to excel.

A year after going 11-7-1, the No. 3 Foxes are 5-1 and have outscored opponents, 26-4. Their only loss came against Section 1-AAAA rival and No. 2-ranked Seneca Valley in a 3-0 decision last week.

They bounced back on Saturday with a 4-0 win over North Allegheny and with a number of crucial games ahead of them to close out the first half of the season, Zane said he is hoping that his team can continue what they’ve been doing.

“The work rate is through the roof, which has to keep up,” Zane said. “I think the WPIAL is wide open this year so the goal is the same. We’re hoping to get a section title this year and then everything starts back over when we get into the playoffs.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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