Saturday, October 21, 2023, TRIB-LIVE
Heading into the WPIAL Class 4A soccer playoffs won’t provide a major intimidation factor for the Fox Chapel boys soccer team. After surviving Section 1-4A play and grabbing the fourth playoff spot, Foxes coach Erik Ingram is relieved to have a full lineup available.
Through the season, Fox Chapel spent most of the year juggling personnel based on who was available and who wasn’t. With a full lineup, the Foxes are excited for the challenge ahead.
Fox Chapel was scheduled to open the WPIAL playoffs against Upper St. Clair on Oct. 28.
“We have too many kids to mention that were out,” Ingram said. “It seemed like we’d get three back, then two more would go out.”
What has helped the Foxes while having so many injuries is being able to develop depth through the lineup. Connor Scanlon and Owen Levy split time at goalkeeper for Fox Chapel.
“We definitely found depth we didn’t have before,” Ingram said. “We were able to dig deep into the bench.”
Fox Chapel is 10-4-2 overall and 8-4-2 in section. Carson Krushansky has been the Foxes’ top goal scorer this season.
In the last week of the season, Fox Chapel finally had most of its lineup available and put together a strong finish. The Foxes finished by winning their final three games over Central Catholic, Franklin Regional and Shady Side Academy by a combined score of 16-1.
“We finally had everyone healed and healthy,” Ingram said. “The last week of the season, we had a string of games.”
Fox Chapel’s winning streak to end the season followed a one-goal loss to Butler. In the game before that, the Foxes tied North Allegheny. Trying to crack the top three in Section 1 was a nearly impossible task this season.
What has allowed the Foxes to be competitive with that mix of teams is their structure.
“We are organized and fast,” Ingram said. “I think we are pretty solid from top to bottom.”
The Foxes are excited to see what they can accomplish moving forward.
Ingram believes having to play so many different players and having a tough schedule will benefit Fox Chapel. The Foxes reached the WPIAL semifinals last season before losing to Seneca Valley.
Taking on the Panthers won’t be a challenge outside of Fox Chapel’s comfort zone.
“We are pretty familiar with them,” Ingram said about Upper St. Clair. “They are organized and well coached.“