Earning History

Senior Captains Emma Kate Womack and Rae Reed douse head coach Vince Pimpinella after beating Kiski and clinching the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.

Senior Captains Emma Kate Womack and Rae Reed douse head coach Vince Pimpinella after beating Kiski and clinching the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.

The last time playoffs and girls soccer was mentioned in one sentence, Jurassic Park was box office’s number one…Whitney Houston was atop of the billboards…and start the streak of twenty losing seasons for the Pirates began.

But now, times have changed…

Jurassic Park was made in 3D this year…2013 marked the year anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death…Baseball in Pittsburgh has resurrected…and the Latrobe girls soccer team has returned to the WPIAL playoffs.

Its been two decades since the girls last reached the playoffs. No girl on the team was even born when the last time a Latrobe girls soccer team reached the playoffs and most of our teachers were “groovy” and just “teenage punks”.

But this season was no fluke on how the girls succeeded, did so well, and accomplished history. They had to ”work hard year round” to have a successful season senior Captain and midfielder Allison LaDuke said, “ The combination of conditioning and practices where we get lots of touches on the ball prepares us for the season. As in every sport, every extra thing we do to prepare puts us one step ahead of our competition.”

Coach Vince Pimpinella said more players were taking a personal responsibility in their preparation as student athletes. Such examples he mentioned was the offseason training, playing on club teams during the offseason, working with other experienced coaches, playing other sports, or even working with former players like Junior Captain and goalie Steph Kubus.

 

Last season, as a Sophomore, Kubus only played a couple varsity games because she shared time with Senior Jane Piontkowski. A 2013 graduate, Piontkowski, now plays Division I soccer at Cleveland State, but over the summer she mentored Kubus.

“I’m really good friends with Jane and we’ve trained all winter and all summer to be prepared for our seasons. We specifically tried to improve on our weak points, like goal kicks,” Kubus said. Obviously Kubus worked hard in the offseason only allowing 23 goals in 18 regular season games and having 1.28 goal against average (GAA – goals given up per game). She also posted five shutouts in the regular season. Kubus understands that goalies must have a good mindset when they are scored on.
Kubus will tell you defense and communication is a huge key to her success. “Communication is very important in all positions. I see it most with the defense. It’s important for me to talk to the girls because I can see the whole field. We have had goals scored on us because of miscommunications in these situations. There is a lot tactically to keeping them off the board, one of the biggest issues is positioning, standing it right place cut off as much of the net at possible but as long as the team is connected it keeps my job easy!”

Senior Captain and defenseman Rae Reed backed Kubus up with her comments saying how the defense has been really “strong and connected” (through communications).

It wasn’t all just a walk in the park for the team. The girls had to deal with some detours this season; injuries, penalties, and losing streaks. But the team prevailed.

Senior Captains Emma Kate Womack and Rae Reed douse head coach Vince Pimpinella after beating Kiski and clinching the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.
Senior Captains Emma Kate Womack and Rae Reed douse head coach Vince Pimpinella after beating Kiski and clinching the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.

Adversity only helped this team which was evident in two such occasions. Twice this season the girls faced three game losing streaks, but it didn’t phase them. They came back stronger as ever in both games. Winning at least three straight games of their own in those two occasions.In those “bounceback games,“ The team scored at least four goals and beat their opponents by at least three goals.

Senior Captain and midfielder Emma Kate Womack said, “We believe in ourselves and have the mindset that we can be successful.” In those games, you can see how they believed in each other and they all had the right mindset, even in the first round of the playoffs.

“The girls showed great maturity in the face of significant competition during the season,” Pimpinella said. “We overcame physical mismatches and when the girls played as a connected unit from our defending end through the midfield and into the attacking third of the field, we were very successful.”

Pimpinella also mentioned that “Concentration and willingness to learn” is what the girls had coming into the season, learning modern systems and styles of play. That “willingness” and “concentration” are things successful teams have.

The team’s second most successful season in the past 20 years and historical season came to a halt against #2 (in WPIAL) Peters Township, October 19. There is not one thing the girls should have their heads down about. Instead they should be proud to be only the second girls soccer team in the past 20 years to make the playoffs from Latrobe. Their hard work is something that will never be taken away from them.