Despite challenging schedule, boys cap season in playoffs

By: Friday, November 2, 2018, TRIB-LIVE

Despite a loss to No. 4 seed Canon-McMillan in the WPIAL playoffs, Fox Chapel boys soccer coach Erik Ingram felt that it was a gratifying season.

“We finished 11-7-1 with the most competitive schedule in program history,” he said.

The Foxes competed in Section 1-AAAA with Allderdice, Butler, Central Catholic, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley and Shaler.

“Before the season started, I felt it would be the toughest section in 4A, but I believed we would qualify for the playoffs,” he said.

“With the realignment, we realized that we were playing in a tougher section. We knew we’d have to play harder and set our sights higher. We knew it was a section where you really couldn’t know who the top three or four teams were going to be on paper. Our goal was to be one of the playoff teams.”

The Foxes ended up in a fourth-place tie with North Allegheny as they both posted 8-5-1 records. Seneca Valley won the section with an 11-2-1 record, followed by Pine-Richland (9-2-3) and Butler (8-4-2). The section featured five teams with 10 or more wins while Shaler, Central Catholic and Allderdice were the only teams to finish with losing records.

“There were no easy games in the section,” Ingram said. “Every game was a battle.

“The season didn’t have any real surprises for us. I was just very proud of the way we competed with the schedule that we had.”

The Foxes will be losing five seniors to graduation, including starters Alex Marotte, Alex Cooper and Sam Zaltman. Eli Amshel and Ty Welty will also graduate. Key returning players include All-WPIAL players Zane Ingram (Jr./F) and Josh Miller (Jr./D), along with David Shin (Jr./D), Tommy Tsai (Jr./Mid), Ashton Schutzman (Fr./D) and Clayton Humbert (So./G).

Ingram also will have a bevy of talented JV players ready to contribute.

“The JV team was very competitive this year, and they finished with an 8-4-4 record,” Ingram said. “I am expecting contributions next year from Patrick Kiszka, Jacob Correnti, Luca Fontecchio, David Merriman, Jake Mulhern, JP Dockey, John Tramontina and Eli Yofan.

“Overall, it was a great season for the boys, as they got back a competitive spirit that the program had lost for a few years. We had a great showing in a significantly competitive section.”

Marty Stewart is a freelance writer.