PG East: Allderdice girls out to regain City soccer crown
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When it comes to City League girls' soccer, Allderdice coach Jon Parker considers his team's games against Schenley as the true test of the season.
Heading into the league playoffs, the Dragons had an incomplete on their report card. After two regular-season ties against their City League rivals, the Allderdice-Schenley season series was knotted.
Allderdice ultimately won the City League regular-season title after Schenley also played to a 1-1 tie with Brashear, but the Dragons would love to make more of a definitive statement by winning the postseason title, too.
A rematch in the league title game against Schenley next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Cupples Stadium will decide that and give Parker the grade he has been seeking for his team since the beginning of the season.
"Right now we are trying to get over the Schenley hump," Parker said. "That is always our litmus test. We are still sitting on the fence with two ties with them."
Parker may not be entirely happy with the two ties, but he has to be pleased with the improvement from last season when his team fell three times to Schenley, including a 5-0 defeat in the City League title game.
At this point of the season Parker likes where his team is. This is his second year coaching the girls' at Allderdice after working with the boys for two seasons.
"I think we are in a significantly better place," Parker said. "We are much more comfortable defensively and that is maybe what makes me a little more settled going into the playoffs."
Allderdice wrapped up its regular season at 11-3-2 overall and 8-0-2 in the City League. Outside of the City League, Allderdice remained competitive against WPIAL teams, going 3-3 including a 2-0 win over Bishop Canevin, a 5-1 win against South Allegheny and a 2-1 loss against Oakland Catholic.
"Things have gone well so far, they have kind of gone as we have expected them to," Parker said. "We have played the WPIAL teams and I was pretty happy with our showings there. We got what we expected."
Entering the season, Allderdice had five holes to fill from graduation attrition. The Dragons' key player returning was junior sweeper Lilly Freedman. Last season she started at outside defender but Parker said her natural position is sweeper.
"She was our returning impact player," Parker said. "To me she could be the best player in the city. Without question she is the best defender in the city and I haven't seen too many better from the WPIAL teams we have played."
The defense is also given a boost by the return of starting senior stopper Gretchen Schwartz.
Offensively, senior forward Louisa Muniain returns on the attack. She leads the team with 14 goals. With Freedman at sweeper, Schwartz at stopper, Muniain at forward and returning starter junior Aileen Lerch at center mid, the strength of Allderdice is down the middle of the field.
"I don't want to say that I am too confident going into the playoffs, but I feel that we have all the pieces in place that we can win a championship," Parker said.
No team will have an easy path to the City League title when Schenley and Allderdice are involved, but Parker would not have it any other way. Allderdice heads into the City League title game next Wednesday at Cupples Stadium as the Post-Gazette's top-ranked team with Schenley No. 2.
First Published October 29, 2009 12:00 am