Pittsburgh Soccer Now’s Featured Match Preview:
WPIAL Boys Class 4A, Section 1
North Allegheny (9-6-1, 7-5-1 in section) vs Pine-Richland (7-9, 6-7 in section)
Thursday, October 10 – 7:30 p.m. – Pine-Richland Stadium
Reporting: John Krysinsky
Matt Gajtka provides audio play-by-play broadcast on PSN Facebook Live
Photography: Ed Thompson
Jordan Wiegand is building Pine-Richland’s boys soccer program in his first year, and even as it’s a year of transition, the Rams are starting to show that the future is bright. The Rams upset PSN’s top-ranked Class 4A team, andSection 1 rivals Seneca Valley last week, and have followed that up with a win at Central Catholic.
“There’s been a lot of progress,” Wiegand said on Wednesday. “These things take time. We’ve got new coaches, and had a lot of new players that replaced a huge group that graduated from last year, so there’s been a period of adjustment.”
The impressive late season wins weren’t enough though to salvage a late season playoff push, as Pine-Richland’s early 2-5 record early in section play cost them a chance to make the post-season.
“We’re still developing as a team, and we’ve seen progress in spurts,” Wiegand added.
Pine-Richland’s contributions have been ‘spread out’ in the words of their coach, who has been able to utilize a lot of players in his first season coaching in Class 4A, after making the move from previous successful posts at Deer Lakes and North Catholic.
Wiegand has counted on a sophomore goalkeeper, Evan Dougal and a freshman center back, Ben Rishel, while the attack’s been led by a senior, Vince Roller, who’s come on strong of late.
“Vince has had a nice season,” Wiegand said. “He’s provided us with a presence up front, with some key goals in our biggest wins.”
One of those early season losses for Pine-Richland came at North Allegheny, 3-1.
With Pine-Richland’s surge of late, North Allegheny were feeling the heat last week — and were fortunate to clinch a playoff spot.
The Tigers wild 3-3 draw vs Fox Chapel pushed North Allegheny into yet another postseason appearance.
Winless in four of its previous five matches, the Tigers followed up the draw on Tuesday to beat Shaler 11-2, as Bobby Vosmaer’s club is looking to build on momentum as they look to make a push into the 2019 postseason, two years removed from winning back-to-back WPIAL titles.
While North Allegheny doesn’t have depth and talent that they did a few years ago, they’re still going to be a tough team to beat.
“Bobby’s an awesome coach,” Wiegand said. “He got me my start in coaching, and I’d say he’s my mentor. You always know what you’re going to get from a North Allegheny. They’re going to press you, and make you pay for mistakes.”
North Allegheny remains a playoff-bound team that has a chance to make a run, thanks to seniors Luke Anderson — is a key threat in the attack and the versatile Jon Ross, who can play in the back, but also be utilized in a variety of positions.
Meet the Pine-Richland Boys Soccer Seniors: #19 Zach Ferris, #20 Aaron Muth, #6 David Pohlod, #11 Vince Roller*, #4 Dylan Crutchfield, #8 Ryan Jorgensen*, #5 AJ Silipo, #22 Luke Jones*, #17 Eli Battista
*Captains. (Photo courtesy of Madia Photography) pic.twitter.com/0pYKE6bzqP
— P-R RAMS BOYS SOCCER (@PR_Rams_Soccer) September 7, 2019
Head Coach: Jordan Wiegand
NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS
Head Coach: Bobby Vosmaer
|11||Van Kirk, Matt||Mid||Senior|