The boys’ soccer season ended this past Saturday with a game against Penn Hills. The team was unable to reach playoffs following a loss to Pine Richland last week. Head Coach Adam Hunter says he expected more, given all the time and effort the team put into this season.
“We started holding pickup games in May, which was a way for me to get to become more familiar with the boys. Then we brought in a former MLS player and coach to run a weeklong camp two weeks prior to the teams preseason. That camp was really great for the boys and started to get them going and prepared for the season,” Hunter said.
Up to about the midpoint of the season, the team realized it had to undergo a change. The team’s record stood at 4-6-1 and 2-5-1 in section play. Its wins came against Obama Academy, Pine Richland, Ligonier Valley, and North Hills. The team’s mindset went from “it’s all about the wins” to “it’s all about having fun”.
“The team’s mindset in the beginning of the season was that we need to win. Since that wasn’t working, we changed our mindset to ‘Let’s go out there and have fun playing the game,’ and that’s how we started to find success,” Senior Mike Tremel said.
With that new mentality, the team improved to 6-6-1 overall and a section record of 4-5-1.
Soon after, the team faced a must win situation. The team had to beat Pine-Richland last Thursday and North Hills had to lose in order for Shaler to clinch playoffs. However, the team was unable to get the win over the Rams, ultimately ending their season.
“The record does not show how well the boys played. We were very competitive in every game, but we just had trouble scoring goals. If we finished our opportunities, then that would be a winning record,” Hunter said.
Tremel says the team should have been able to win more games based on the amount of experience on the field.
“Almost every game we lost we should have won based on the amount of talent that we have,” Tremel said.
With 6 seniors graduating this year, the team will need to make some changes to accommodate the loss of some of its players.