Bill West | Trib Live
Tribune-Review Soccer Players of the Year
Peters Township’s Mario and Nicco Mastrangelo have been selected as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Co-Boys Soccer Players of the Year, while Canon-McMillan’s Kyra Murphy is the Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
Mario & Nicco Mastrangelo | Senior Forwards, Peters Township
From their looks to their playing styles to their stats, Peters Township seniors Mario and Nicco Mastrangelo mirrored one another to the very end of their high school careers, which happened to conclude in Hershey.
The identical twin forwards excelled in the final third of the field for the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion Indians (22-2), who came in ninth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s season-ending poll.
Mario Mastrangelo, predominantly a lefty, tallied 25 goals and 14 assists, while Nicco, a righty, had 23 goals and 16 assists.
In addition to tying their season point totals at 39, the brothers also finished even with each other for their careers at 90 apiece. Mario scored 62 goals and added 28 assists, while Nicco registered 58 and 32, respectively.
For their achievements, Mario and Nicco Mastrangelo are the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review co-Players of the Year.
Obama’s Abe Kouyate, Upper St. Clair’s Robbie Mertz and South Park’s Brandon Walbert also received consideration.
What was your favorite goal of the season?
MM: My good friend Wes Ward’s goal against North Allegheny. He shot a rocket from outside the 18 and went upper 90 (top corner).
NM: Brady Pike had a sweet goal from about 25 yards out, and it went in the triangle, upper corner. He shot it from the right and went top-left against Fox Chapel.
How would you describe your playing style?
MM: I play with tenacity, and I kind of counter-attack a lot.
NM: Attack-minded, and I like to face the goal and take people on.
Do you guys feel like you play the same way, or is it more accurate to say you complement each other?
NM: I think we’re very similar, but a little bit different in some aspects of the game. I think Mario tracks back farther than me defensively, and I’m more about attacking.
With you being a lefty and Nicco being a righty, do you guys have contests to see who is better with the opposite foot?
MM: Not really, but we should definitely have more competitions, now that I think about it.
If you guys played a one-on-one game against each other, who wins?
NM: It ends in a draw. It eventually goes to penalties, and I think (Mario) wins. I’m not normally the best penalty kick taker, and Mario is pretty good. I can save him a couple times, but he has a special technique, he says. He uses finesse and places it where he wants. Same spot every time, bottom right. I tend to know where he goes, so he’ll change it up on me.
Coach Bob Dyer said he used shoes in the past to differentiate you two, but you guys had almost the exact same look, down to the cleats this season. Was that by design?
NM: We wanted separate cleats initially, but the one part was out of stock, so we had to get the same ones. We don’t really like dressing the same.