Ray Fisher | Trib Live
Pat Vereb has been coaching in the Peters Township girls soccer program since 2007.
During that span, the Indians have been extremely successful, qualifying for the playoffs every season and advancing to seven WPIAL finals and four PIAA finals.
Peters Township has won three PIAA championships and two WPIAL crowns since 2007 and fell just short of a WPIAL title last season with a 2-1 loss to Seneca Valley in the championship game.
The PT girls are striving for more success in 2019. Before suffering their first loss of the season Monday night, a 2-1 setback to Upper St. Clair, they were 10-0-1, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA by HSSN and held a commanding 45-7 scoring advantage.
“We try to maintain the same yearly expectations: compete for the section title, achieve a high playoff seed and make a deep run into the playoffs,” Vereb said. “We have played well and survived a very brutal section schedule.”
Peters Township opened the season with wins over McDowell and State College in the annual South Hills Classic. In Section 2-AAAA play, the Indians defeated Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair, Brashear, Mt. Lebanon, Baldwin and Canon McMillan and tied Moon.
The PT girls started the second half of the section schedule Sept. 25 with a 1-0 win against Bethel Park, their fourth shutout this season.
In fact, no opponent had netted more than one goal against the Indians in any game all year until the loss at Upper St. Clair. PT defeated the Panthers by the same 2-1 score earlier in the season.
Moon (10-1-1, 9-0-1) and Peters Township (10-1-1, 7-1-1) have been battling neck-and-neck for the top spot in the section, ahead of USC (7-4, 6-3) and Canon McMillan (8-4, 5-4). The Indians, who were PIAA semifinalists a year ago, are shooting for their third consecutive section crown.
Two key team members, senior Bucknell recruit Hannah Stuck and sophomore Michigan State commit CeCe Scott, are back this season. Both are midfielders, where they are joined by senior Chloe Trapanotto and freshman Brooke Opferman.
The Indians’ forward position is manned by junior Sarah Heisinger and sophomores Casey Breier, Jillian Marvin, Maddie Schweiger and Macy Trax.
The defensive corps consists of seniors Rachel Raber, Kaila McFerran and Mia Gentille, plus freshman Lexi Pirosko, who play in front of goalkeepers Emma Sawich, a junior, and Emma Burrows, a sophomore.
“This is likely one of the best possession-oriented teams we have had,” Vereb said. “This was a major target of improvement.”
Vereb’s career record at Peters Township prior to 2019 stood at 219-42-11 with seven section titles. The Indians appear well stocked for the future, as well.
There were 14 freshmen and 11 sophomores in the program at the start of the season, along with six juniors and eight seniors.