Talented seniors led way for SSA boys |

Talented seniors led way for SSA boys

It was a satisfying season for Shady Side Academy boys soccer coach Ed Ellsworth and his team.

They finished with a 16-3-1 record and reached the WPIAL championship game and the semifinals of the PIAA tournament.

Along the way, the team amassed 13 shutouts.

“We had an incredible year,” Ellsworth said. “The impressive aspect of this season was the commitment that the players gave to winning while playing beautiful soccer. I think the courage they showed to play the game the right way stands out to me most.

“Our playoff run was particularly exciting, winning in double overtime against No. 1 South Park and No. 4 Waynesburg. Eric Zhang went through one of the hottest streaks I’ve seen from a player, scoring four game-winning goals in the playoffs.”

Now, Ellsworth must find a way to replace some talented seniors.

“When you have to replace the section player of the year, Patrick Hill-Junke, team MVP Brendan Brazinski, All-WPIAL player Eric Zhang along with Mac Ference, and goalkeeper Doran Kozel, you certainly have some big shoes to fill for next season,” Ellsworth said. “This group has continued the process of establishing a culture of excellence and playoff success at the school.”

Ellsworth will have a strong group of players returning. Leading scorer Ben Ream will be back, along with fellow juniors Eric Wolf and Jacob Kuzma and sophomores Walter Navid, Kenny Shergill, Max Farner, Danny Palmer, Jonathan Vuchinich and Thomas Spiker.

“Several other young players will be counted on to step up next season,” Ellsworth said.

“It was a privilege to coach this team and watch them conquer each challenge they faced. Next year’s team can certainly draw from the example they showed.”

Marty Stewart is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.