Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Strong Stretch Run Yields Title for Bethel Park Black Hawks Tops in Section

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Strong Stretch Run Yields Title for Bethel Park Black Hawks Tops in Section

Article excerpt

The regular season has been a bit of a bumpy ride for the Bethel Park boys soccer team.

It was almost roller-coaster like.

The Black Hawks experienced quite a few highs but they also had to deal with a few lows. But it all worked out.

"It's one of those things you can't put your finger on," Bethel Park coach Mike Galietta said.

The Black Hawks began the season 1-2 but went on a five-game winning streak before hitting a lull with a pair of back-to-back scoreless ties at the midseason point.

Galietta's group, however, fought through its midway stalemate by winning five of its last six games, including a pair of key victories against the very same teams it tied three weeks earlier, to capture the Section 4-AAA title.

After topping Mt. Lebanon last week, 3-1, Bethel Park followed up by cruising to a 3-0 victory against Baldwin last Thursday to capture the section crown and lock down a spot in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

"Without those games we don't win the section," Galietta said. "After going through the section the first time around, I knew we'd have to win out in the second half. We knew we couldn't afford to slip up or even settle for a draw.

"Both matches were really big. We played well in terms of challenging and competing to win the ball."

Ranked No. 4 in the Post-Gazette's weekly Class AAA rankings, the Black Hawks finished the regular season with an 11-5-2 overall record and completed section play with an 8-0-2 mark.

"I'm more pleased for the boys than anything," said Galietta, who is in his 10th season at Bethel Park. "I expected to go into the season and compete for the section [title], but the way we started, I wasn't sure what would happen.

"It's hard to explain what happened. [Winning the section title] is quite an accomplishment for the team. We've really improved."

Despite noticing the early struggles, Galietta knew it was only a matter of time before his Black Hawks would bounce right back.

"I get a sense that we were fully engaged and really ready to compete at the highest level," he said. "Since the second week of the season we really have come to play. Even if we don't have our best [game], we're still competing. …

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