Coach Sam Perry has an explanation, and it’s a simple one, as to why the 2012 Monessen boys soccer team had only its second losing season in the past 10 years: injuries.
“Injuries last year hurt us,” Perry said. “We had some injuries to key players. This year, so far, we’ve been healthy. We’re short on kids, but we’ve been pretty fortunate to not have any serious injuries.”
Perry can talk about injuries all he wants, but another primary reason for the Greyhounds’ 4-0 start has been the play of Luke Doptis, who has 10 goals thus far: two apiece during wins over Charleroi (2-0) and Bentworth (3-0), and hat tricks against Washington (4-2) and Brownsville (13-1).
“We graduated a quality scorer in Alex Piccarelli,” Perry said. “Luke Doptis has picked up where he left off.”
Other key components include junior Josh Kucneroski, a three-year starter on the left wing who has three goals, including one on a corner kick; Blair Madison, who has three goals; freshman right wing Justin Rice, who has taken on a larger role; and Zach Piccarelli, Alex’s younger brother who has been a playmaker in the midfield and responsible defensively while filling in for Chrisitian Sciacca.
Sciacca, who was out all of last season – one of those key injuries Perry talked about – has missed the past two games with a tweaked hamstring.
“I’m very pleased with the way the kids have been playing,” Perry said. “I did not expect the start that we’ve had. We’ve been playing some good soccer.”
–By Jason Mackey