Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Peters Trying to Repeat Itself to Win Another Wpial Title, Indians Need a Replay of Last Week

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Peters Trying to Repeat Itself to Win Another Wpial Title, Indians Need a Replay of Last Week

Article excerpt

Defending WPIAL Class AAA boys' soccer champion Peters Township would like to repeat history -- twice.

To win a second consecutive WPIAL title, one thing is certain: The Indians (13-5-1) cannot do it without starting the upcoming tournament with a repeat of its recent performance against Section 1-AAA champion Penn-Trafford.

Peters Township claimed a 2-0 victory at Penn-Trafford last Monday. The Indians must return to the Warriors' home field for the first round Monday or Tuesday night (the WPIAL Soccer Steering Committee had not yet determined a day and time as of Thursday).

Penn-Trafford is the No 8 playoff seed. Peters is No. 9. The winner plays the winner of the game pitting No. 1 Upper St. Clair and No. 16 Hempfield Area.

"We can't worry about the seedings," Peters coach Rob Eldridge said when the playoff brackets were announced last Wednesday. "The pairings have been made. The ball is going to drop and in two weeks, we'll know how it all works out."

Peters Township is 8-1-1 in its past 10 games. The only loss occurred against defending state champion and Section 5-AAA titlist Upper St. Clair, 3-1. Peters Township finished tied for second place in Section 5-AAA with Chartiers Valley behind unbeaten USC.

Impressive performances during the streak included a 0-0 tie against undefeated Hampton and a 2-1 triumph against Char Valley. Injuries played a part in the Indians' slow start.

Senior midfielder/forward Eric Floyd, a returning starter, missed several weeks due to a slight tear of a quadriceps muscle. Floyd recently returned to the lineup.

"When he came back he took some of the pressure off our other scorers," Eldridge said.

Senior forward Steve Jackson has also been hampered by injuries, including a bruised knee.

Other players have missed one or two games for various reasons. Eldridge has only been able to go with a consistent lineup in recent weeks.

The senior leadership is plentiful. Other experienced seniors are defender Justin Kruljac, goalkeeper Tim Tracey, outside midfielder Ben Cain and defender Ryan Floyd, Eric's twin.

The junior class is also talented, led by 14-goal scorer Chris Wilcox, who plays up front. …

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