Welcome to a new season of High School soccer with our first edition of High School Notebook presented by Adidas!
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While some of us may still have some relaxing summer escapades and vacations still yet on the horizon, high school soccer players have begun to get down to work as the preseason began on Monday.
We are now at the the beginning of what essentially boils down to a two month sprint of a season for most teams. For those who qualify for the regional (WPIAL – District 7 in our area) playoffs, the season can extend beyond mid-October — and for the teams that have special seasons can play deep into November if they qualify for the State (PIAA) playoffs.
Here on Pittsburgh Soccer Now, we are excited about the season ahead as well.
Here are some quick resources to get you ready:
PSN COVERAGE PLANS FOR THIS SEASON
We are excited to announce that we will be planning PSN Featured Games in September and October. Coverage of these featured games will include a game recap, photographer on site, post-game video interviews that will run on our social media platforms — and selected games to be broadcast on Facebook Live with Riverhounds SC play-by-play man Matt Gajtka on the call.
Our first game is scheduled on Saturday, September 8 –and we are looking forward to sharing the details on that one shortly. If you have any suggestions for additional regular season games for PSN to cover (and additional sponsors that might be interested in facilitating one of these games), please let us know as we are still open to weeknight dates for some marquee match-ups in late September and early October.
In addition, when the official season kicks off, we’ll be featuring Adidas Boys and Girls Players of the Week.
We are also counting on your support as well as we build our network of high school soccer coverage. Please send weekly nominations for Player of the Week honors with details on their performance(s) to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on our social media channels. If you have any other updates or any milestones to share, please contact us.
Of course, the regular season will be the tip of our coverage as we intend to have you covered for both the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs in late October and into November.
— EF Soccer (@EFWarriorSoccer) August 13, 2018
Good morning, it is officially high school soccer season! Time to get to work boys!! ⚽️⚽️⚽️#TheMission
— Oaks Boys Soccer (@KOEaglesSoccer) August 13, 2018
WPIAL GIRLS TEAMS TO BEGIN SEASON NATIONALLY RANKED
Last week in PSN’s College Notebook, we shared some of the rankings from the United Soccer Coaches rankings for college teams, including those of local interest that have cracked the top 25 in all classifications, including West Virginia and Penn State women, Pitt men getting votes as well as Carnegie Mellon women at number 11 in the Division III poll.
In addition, United Soccer Coaches also put together a High School preseason rankings, and Moon’s girls program, despite the departure of some key players, still landed in the top 20.
In Top Drawer Soccer’s rankings, three girls teams from our area have landed in the top 50: Norwin, Pine Richland and Peters Township.
Unlike last season, Norwin aren’t the top team in the National Rankings, but they’re right there again in the No. 42 spot, despite losing many seniors that were part of a team that won multiple WPIAL titles and a PIAA crown in 2017.
Peters Township is No. 21 and Pine-Richland checks in at No. 24.
Peters Township (15-4) and Pine-Richland (16-2-1) were WPIAL quarterfinalists. Midfielder Regan LaVigna, a Youngstown State recruit and forward Hannah Stuck (Bucknell) are set to return for Peters Township, while forwards Megan Donnelly and Allie Malobicky are back for Pine-Richland.
GRANT GETTING ‘SOCCER’ EDUCATION ABROAD
Quaker Valley graduate Landon Grant is crossing the Atlantic to continue his soccer career.
Grant, who will be a freshman, will attend the Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy in England.
As part of its Leeds program, he will play soccer, while studying for a bachelor’s degree in international sports management.
“This decision aligned best with what goals I (have),” Grant said in Sewickley Herald last week. “In this point of my career, RIASA offered the best opportunity.”
Grant, a midfielder, scored 30-plus goals and led Quaker Valley to the PIAA Class AA title last season. He also was the placekicker on the Quaker football team, which swept WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA crowns.
GREENSBURG CENTRAL STANDOUT SCHWERHA TESTING MLS ACADEMY WATERS
JoJo Schwerha was set to enter his senior year at Greensburg Central Catholic.
But that might be changing.
The incoming senior forward is spending two weeks training and essentially trying out for the D.C. United Major League Soccer program. He was a 19-under team invitee while playing for Beadling Soccer Club out of Pittsburgh and made the trip to Washington earlier this week.
Schwerha said he could choose to enroll at the D.C. United Academy, which means he would forego his final year at GCC and expedite the process of possibly turning professional. He could take classes online.
Of course, there are no guarantees, and the Charleroi resident knows the risks as well as he does the rewards.
“I have until Aug. 19 to make my final decision,” said Schwerha, who had 13 goals and 14 assists last season for GCC, a WPIAL Class A quarterfinalist told the Tribune-Review‘s Bill Beckner. “This is what I want to do. I have wanted to play pro soccer since I was 4 years old.”
The 14-day tryout consists of daily training, weightlifting, meetings and games against other MLS academy teams.