Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Shaler Deals with Flood Problems Disaster Adds to Woes for Embattled Titans

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Shaler Deals with Flood Problems Disaster Adds to Woes for Embattled Titans

Article excerpt

Classes at Shaler Area were canceled for three days last week because of the severe flooding that hit two of the school district's communities: Etna and Millville.

The temporary closing of the schools had an impact on its varsity sports teams, including boys' soccer.

The Titans have qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs the past three years, but are in the midst of a rebuilding campaign. The cancellation of school and practices added to the burden of the Titans trying to remain competitive in Section 2-AAA.

The Titans lost at Seneca Valley, 1-0, last Saturday, a game originally scheduled at Shaler a week earlier when the flooding occurred. The loss dropped Shaler (4-4-1) to 2-3-1 in section play.

Going into a section home match against North Hills last night, the Titans were winless in their previous four section matches. Shaler had been 40-4-2 in its previous 46 section games since 2000.

Last season, Shaler was 13-0-1 in section play to claim the championship, but graduated seven starters.

The only returning starters are senior center midfielder Jerry Dickinson, senior forward Dante Cincotta, senior sweeper Vince Spillane and junior defender Mike Monahan.

Cincotta was recently moved to defense to shore up an area that was weakened when senior Scott Nellis was lost for the season after incurring a broken foot against North Hills the second game of the season on Sept. 7, a 3-1 Shaler victory.

"We've been giving up far too many goals, more than we'd like to," Shaler coach Chris Catanese said. "With Dante's speed and toughness, we decided to move him to the back."

Shaler got off to a promising 3-1 overall start, 2-0 in section play. This fast start included a 2-1 non-section overtime victory at highly ranked Peters Township. A combination of inexperience, injuries and the disruption in the team's practice routine due to the cancellation of classes, however, has made this an especially challenging season for the Titans. …

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