Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Veteran Montour Loads Up for a Run at Honors

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Veteran Montour Loads Up for a Run at Honors

Article excerpt

The disappointing 2010 season continues to serve as a reminder to the Montour High School boys' soccer team to not look ahead.

In 2009, when the current group of seniors were freshmen, the Spartans overachieved, finishing 11-6-2 overall and going 9-3-2 in the section to finish third and qualify for the WPIAL playoffs.

"When people thought we had lost a lot [after the 2008 season], we had some success when the current seniors were freshmen," Montour coach Alex Hobbs said. "Going into their sophomore year we might have been overconfident."

Montour failed to make the playoffs in 2010, finishing with a disappointing 4-5-1 record in the section, finishing in fifth place.

"That is sort of what we have gone back to," Hobbs said of the sophomore slump. "Whether we have a lazy practice or if I see a lack of effort, we refer back to two years ago. The guys know one fluky goal can really change a season. We try to stay focused, maybe the best team doesn't always win, but we just want to be the team that is best prepared."

Last year Montour bounced back, finishing 13-5-1 and going 7-3 in Section 5-AA to finish third and reach the postseason. Montour won its first playoff game since 2005 to reach the WPIAL quarterfinals.

With 14 seniors, 13 lettermen and five starters back, expectations are ramped up again along Clever Road and Hobbs hopes to avoid a similar letdown like the one in 2010.

Montour returns three four-year starters who experienced success as freshmen and juniors and disappointment as sophomores. The four- year starters back are forward Jason Menni and defensemen Ian Stewart and Nathan Dearth.

"We look at this season as a continuation of last season," Hobbs said. "We thought we had a successful season, we lost some quality players but we have quality players ready to fill their spots. We return guys who are familiar with each position. …

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