Pittston Area Soccer Captains are, from left to righ, Chris Musto and Tom Allardyce.photo by tony callaio
After a disappointing but competitive 5-9-2 season in 2010, the 2011Patriots soccer team has put that behind them and will look to make a lot of noise this year having returned most of the key parts of their squad.
"We return pretty much just about everything from last year," said third-year head coach Pat O’Boyle. "So I don’t think 12 to 13 wins is really out of the realm of possibility."
The Patriots will need to replace Kenny Miller, a three-year starter, goalkeeper Dom Lussi, and Antionette Scialpi, who tore her ACL and is done for the season.
But Pietro Colella, Chris Musto, Tom Allardyce, Quinn Tracy, Ian Tracy, and Jordan Consagra all return, and will provide leadership and maturity for the Pittston Area. They also happen to have tallied 24 goals and 15 assists last season, with Colella finding the back of the net for 10 of those 24 goals.
Along with the maturity of the returning players, O’Boyle is implementing a new style of play. Getting away from the risk/reward style of playing the ball over the top of the defense, O’Boyle wants the Patriots to possess the ball for longer periods of time and thus create more good looks for his skilled finishers as well as help keep the ball away from his defensive third.
"We’re trying to get away from kickball stuff. We’ve got speed and we could exploit it, but at the same time, the defense needs to help out with a possession game in the middle. We’re going to possess the ball a little more than we have in the past," said O’Boyle. "We’ve got three kids up top - Colella, Consagra and Ian Tracy - who can score on anybody. We need to hold the ball, keep possession, get the ball up to those guys, take pressure off the defense and give those guys an opportunity to score."
PA will play in Division II this season and will play every team in the Wyoming Valley Conference. This will give PA a chance to test themselves against teams like Coughlin and Wyoming Valley West before the district playoffs.