Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At Parkway South, Wolf Is at Door of Soccer Powers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At Parkway South, Wolf Is at Door of Soccer Powers

Article excerpt

This is the season Parkway South High soccer coach Nate Wolf has been waiting for.

"When this group came in as freshmen four years ago, I knew we had something special," Wolf said. "Most of these guys started on varsity as sophomores. We took our lumps - we started 0-6 that season - but now that experience is paying off for us."

The Patriots bounced back to finish 14-7-1 two years ago and posted a 24-3-1 record last season. This year's team, ranked No. 8 in the Post-Dispatch large-schools poll, has a 9-0-2 record after Tuesday's 10-0 win over Francis Howell.

"I've been here since the school opened and this is easily the best team we've ever had," Wolf said. "But I'm a conservative person and I like to downplay things as much as possible. I don't want our players to get caught up in publicity and press clippings. I just want them to focus on one game at a time.

"But these kids aren't stupid. They know we have a good team and they expect to do well."

Still, Wolf remains cautious.

"We've had talks about looking ahead," he said. "That's my main concern, that we'll take somebody lightly and get knocked off."

The Patriots are led by sweeper Matt Zimmer, a third-team Post-Dispatch All-Metro selection last year. Zimmer, who plays on the under-18 national team, already has five goals and nine assists this season. As a junior, he led South with 17 goals and 10 assists.

"Matt's our leader on the field," Wolf said. "He's very skilled, and he's a very smart soccer player."

Goalie Matt Marden posted 14 shutouts last year. Stopper Jason Zenser and wingbacks Matt Brawner and Mike McGrath are the team's other defenders. McGrath is the lone starting junior.

The South midfield features Jamelle McCreary, Nick Hampton, Bill Counts and Jeff Suchanek. Scott Handlan (five goals, one assist) and Garett Williams are the team's forwards.

Senior Matt Lawler is a top reserve, filling in as a back or as a midfielder. …

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