Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Central Has the Look of a Winner

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Central Has the Look of a Winner

Article excerpt

Claudio Morini serves triple-duty running the Central Catholic boys' soccer program as the head coach of the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams at the school.

Fortunately, Morini does not coach by himself. Morini, a native of Italy, is assisted by James Meara, a former professional player from England who also played briefly for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

The quality of play Morini and Meara see from the players in the Vikings program may not be up to the standards they were exposed to in their respective homelands. However, the Central Catholic players aren't too shabby.

The Vikings (5-0, 2-0) were unbeaten going into last night's Section 3-AAA game at Penn Hills. Central Catholic outscored its first five opponents, 13-1, which pleases Morini since the Vikings only have a handful of returning starters from last year's playoff team. Central Catholic has played so well, Morini believes his team can contend for the section title against Fox Chapel. The Foxes have been the most dominant team in the section for many years.

Fox Chapel has not lost a section game since 2001, the year Central Catholic earned the 3-AAA title. The Vikings play at Fox Chapel Saturday night. The Vikings also play host to Gateway tomorrow.

"I think we have a lot of talent," Morini said. "We are not where we should be yet, but I think if we come together as a team, we should do very well. Fox Chapel is strong all the time. We all know that, but I think this year we have a chance to compete with them.

"I heard that Plum [another perennial contender in the section] is very young this year, but they always have three good people up front who can score goals. I also heard Penn Hills is supposed to have a good team."

The three most experienced Central Catholic players are senior defenders Blaise Fello and Garrett Garcia and senior forward Christian Vagley.

The other prominent players primarily played for the junior varsity last season or saw limited duty on the varsity. This includes junior midfielders Anthony Annette, Paul Scolieri and Ed Cherok, senior forward Jake Bock, senior midfielders David Bonaroti and Laughlin Elliott, sophomore defender Ryan Slaby, junior defender Stephen Rossi, junior goalkeeper Richard Mader and senior goalie Gabriel Paris-Amon. …

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