Upper St. Clair all-state senior midfielder Troye Kiernan, at right, is the PG's boys soccer player of the year.
By Craig Meyer and Joe Greiner / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In just about every facet of the game, Troye Kiernan excelled.
A senior midfielder on the Upper St. Clair boys' soccer team, Kiernan was a physical presence, one with size and speed. He was among the Panthers' leaders in scoring, but he was also a teammate who had a knack for making big plays in equally big games.
Given that combination of talents, among other reasons, Kiernan is the Post-Gazette boys soccer player of the year.
A three-year starter and a captain this past season, Kiernan scored 20 goals, but routinely got other teammates involved. Partially because of that, Upper St. Clair excelled this season, as it finished 23-1-1 and won its second consecutive PIAA Class AAA championship (it lost in the WPIAL championship game).
As the Panthers' season progressed and their games started to carry more meaning, Kiernan's play only got better. In Upper St. Clair's seven WPIAL and PIAA playoff games this season, Kiernan, a Saint Francis (Pa.) recruit, scored eight goals.
For his effort this season, Kiernan was named as an NSCAA National All-American, the only WPIAL player to receive that honor.
Joel Hart, Upper St. Clair: Hart was another important piece to the Panthers' success this season. A senior forward, he was dynamic on the offensive end, with 37 goals and 15 assists. An American University recruit, Hart was an NSCAA All-East Regional All-American.
Robbie Mertz, Upper St. Clair: A two-year starter on the Panthers' back-to-back PIAA championship teams, Mertz was one of the most technically sound players in the WPIAL, an offensive catalyst, leading the team with 22 assists. An attacking midfielder, he also scored five goals.
Steve Munn, Sewickley Academy: Munn experienced a good deal of success in his high school career, going to the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs in all four years. This season, he scored 12 goals and had 20 assists as the Panthers went 21-3 and won both the WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships.
Brandon Walbert, South Park: A junior in his third year as a starter, Walbert scored 16 goals and had 24 assists for the Eagles, who finished 20-3 this season. A midfielder, he was also an NSCAA All-East Regional All-American and helped lead the Eagles to a 16-game winning streak to begin the season.
Jeremy Perez, Ringgold: Perez capped off a strong career for the Rams with a banner senior season in which he scored 29 goals and had 21 assists. Most impressively, this all-state selection and two-year captain had five hat tricks this season, including a five-goal performance against Trinity.
Jack Dickens, Fox Chapel: Dickens, a four-year starter and two-year captain, had 17 goals and 19 assists this season while leading the Foxes to a 16-2 record and an appearance in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals. A senior forward, he is a Pitt recruit.
Abe Kouyate, Obama Academy: Likely the most outstanding player in the City League, Kouyate is in his third season as a starter, the most recent of which saw him score 17 goals and have seven assists. Only 16 years old, this junior forward is receiving interest from Division I and Division II colleges.
Calvin Boyle, Chartiers Valley: Widely considered the best goalkeeper in the WPIAL, Boyle had a strong senior season, recording six shutouts and allowing 1.7 goals per game (26 goals in 15 games). An All-WPIAL and all-state selection, he is getting solid interest from Division I schools.
Corey McCurdy, Canon-McMillan: As a defensive midfielder, McCurdy did not have the same eye-popping stats as others, but he was a strong offensive presence for the Big Macs, notching 10 assists and adding five goals. McCurdy was an all-state selection and a two-year captain.
Matt Collins, Mt. Lebanon: Collins was a three-year starter and a large (no pun intended) presence for the Blue Devils at 6 feet 6. A defensive midfielder with a good long-range shot, Collins had nine goals this season and is receiving interest from Division I schools.
Zach Graziani, West Allegheny: A crucial piece in the Indians' run to the PIAA Class AA championship game, Graziani anchored a defense that allowed just six goals the entire season. A senior and Robert Morris recruit, he was a two-time all-state selection and was an NSCAA All-East Regional All-American this season.
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