[against Upper St. Clair] was critical for us,” Dyer said. “It proves to us that we are back and are able to compete with the best. It was a very big win.”
The Indians lost just once in 16 matches this season, a 2-1 defeat to Bethel Park on Sept. 10. Ten of their 13 wins this season were “clean sheets” — that is, the opponent was held scoreless. Max O’Hare and Neil Harrison have both been solid in goal and have benefitted from a strong defense in front of them, led by Hall and Mark Enscoe. But it’s the team’s depth and the players’ acceptance of their roles that Dyer said has been the biggest reason for the Indians’ success.
“There is competition at every position,” Dyer said. “Practices are very difficult, but it helps us in preparation for games.
“We have a group of 24 kids and not everyone is going to play as much as they want to. For example, you have someone like D.J. Jaap, who started for us last season and is now coming off the bench. We ask him to come in and mark somebody, and he’s done a great job. He’s probably not happy about it, but he does the job he’s asked to do. That’s rare for a high school team. Our kids have accepted their roles and are doing the jobs they are called upon to do.”
Peters Township is so deep that it’s leading scorer, Mario Mastrangelo, comes off the bench. Dyer says the team’s depth is a tribute to the youth program that the township has for both its boys and girls.
“We had between 1,200 and 1,300 kids playing youth soccer last season,” Dyer said. “That’s crazy. The youth program develops fantastic players who come in as ninth-graders and then we mold them into final products.”
With that type of turnout, it’s likely that both of the Indians’ soccer programs will be formidable for the foreseeable future.