Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Moon Battles to Carry on Tradition

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Moon Battles to Carry on Tradition

Article excerpt

Steeped in tradition and the propensity for turning out upper- echelon squads, the ceiling for success the Moon Area boys' soccer team possesses is higher than most.

But just because the Tigers typically earn a healthy share of wins doesn't make them immune to turnover and uncertainty, two facets of the game the team is dealing with this season.

A WPIAL quarterfinalist a year ago, Moon has begun the season with a lineup that, while owning plenty of talent and potential, is lacking experience. The Tigers bid good-bye to a pair of all- section players who graduated,outside midfielder Sam Engel and center fullback Nico Marocco, and a handful of other two- and three- year starters.

This season, nearly every one of the five returning starters played only complementary roles last season. It's a situation that presents the Tigers a significant challenge.

"The thing is, the guys we have coming back were all sort of a supporting cast," Moon coach John Arnold said. "Those guys this year for the first time have to step into that role. That's kind of our test this year, how quickly kids can step in and make a difference."

Thus far, the results have been mixed. Moon (1-2-1, 0-1 in Section 5-AAA) owns a win against Brashear, a tie with Sewickley Academy, a loss to Center and a loss to Peters Township Tuesday in its section opener. It was a difficult quartet of opening games for the Tigers, as all four opponents were ranked in their respective classes.

Luckily, as question marks abound in the early part of the season, one of them does not center on talent in the net. In senior Chris Zier, the Tigers boast one of the premier goalkeepers in the WPIAL. A three-year starter, Zier began to make a name for himself last year, and was accordingly selected to the all-section team.

"People think very highly of Chris," said Arnold, a former Moon goalkeeper himself. "He's a very athletic kid who makes saves other high school goalies don't. He's a player whom everybody is keeping an eye on, but you need to have a strong team in front of you to win games, too. …

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