Wednesday’s girls soccer feature focuses on how No. 3 Moon has had to replace a ton from last year, but the Tigers certainly aren’t the only WPIAL team in that position.
No. 5 South Park was similarly hit hard by graduation — losing eight senior starters — and, like Moon, the Eagles have been just fine.
Entering Wednesday’s games, South Park is 11-2-2 overall, 9-0-1 in Section 4-AA.
“Pleasantly surprised,” is how South Park coach Shelly Thropp described it. “A lot of people were saying we weren’t going to be good because we lost eight seniors. Most had played for four years. We had some big roles to fill. Collectively, as a group, I think we’re a better team.”
Jenny Vietmier leads South Park with 17 goals and six assists. Other statistical leaders include Kat Hartner at nine and nine; Monica Davison at seven goals and eight assists; keeper Krista Mosi has posted eight shutouts.
“Our goalie is really awesome,” Thropp said. “She keeps us in a lot of games.”
So does the defense, which consists of right back Amanda Luffey, center backs Ashlyn Stowart and Emily Patterson and left back Nicole Evans.
Patterson is a converted midfielder and Evans a former forward.
“You’re going to have, with a sophomore back who was a forward and senior who was a midfielder … you’re going to make mistakes,” Thropp said. “But Krista has kept us in a lot of games.”
As the note in Wednesday’s paper says, South Park can clinch a share of the section title for the 17th consecutive season with a win Wednesday night against McGuffey.
— Jason Mackey