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Butler's Doug Maran, right, seen here in action against Pine Richland's Justin Malchano in the Golden Tornado's 4-1 victory Saturday, and the rest of his teammates are of to a 9-0 start this season.

Welcome to the club
Butler boys join in soccer success

By John Enrietto
Eagle Sports Editor

Butler's varsity girls soccer team wanted to score more goals this season.
The Golden Tornado boys wanted to give up fewer.
"We needed to generate more production," girls coach Marlene Peoples said. "We made that our focus this year."
"It only takes one goal to win," first-year boys coach Chuck Kelley said.
Butler's boys are off to a 9-0 start, outscoring the opposition 21-3 in the process, after losing 13 of 18 games last season.
The Tornado are 4-0 in section play and are bidding for their first section title in 12 years.
"We seniors know this is it for us," said defender and co-captain K.J. Ludlum. "We've never been to the playoffs, and we're pretty serious about getting there."
They're so serious that they've bought into Kelley's ball-possession system, something he picked up from
Hampton coach Tom Geis and Pittsburgh North Stars soccer director Bobby Vosmaer.
Kelley was an assistant coach with Geis for four years at
Hampton. He's worked with Vosmaer, who played on the Dutch national team's World Cup second-place squads of 1974 and 1978, in the Pittsburgh North Stars organization.
"Those two are my mentors," Kelley said. "They've shown me there's plenty of ways to play this game. We don't have to play traditional high school soccer.
"I wanted to bring a unique, exciting brand of soccer to this program, and I think that's happening."
Kelley admitted he was surprised by how well
Butler's boys have adapted to his system.
"It just suits our personnel well," he said of playing a possession game. "And with the great start, it gives me a lot of ammunition to convince the kids that it works.
Butler is a blue collar area. People work hard here, and that translates to sports. Work hard, play together, be successful. That's all there is to it."
That formula has worked so far.
"We're thrilled the boys are doing so well," Peoples said. "It's generated more interest in soccer around the school and more students are coming to the games."
"The girls team finishes practice and comes down to watch the boys game," said the leading scorer for the
Butler girls soccer team, Kelly Hilderbrand, who is a senior. "The boys do the same thing. Our teams support each other."
Doug Moran, a junior forward, leads the Tornado boys with only three goals.
"Any of us can score at any time," said senior defender and co-captain Steve Armhahizer said. "We don't have any great players, just a bunch of good players."


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KariLee Cowan of Butler (9) collides with North Allegheny's Jourdan Spence Saturday in the Tigers' 3-1 victory. Despite the loss, the Golden Tornado are playing up to their usual high standard so far this season.

So far this season, Hilderbrand has scored eight goals - she led last year's team with 10 - and the Tornado girls are off to a 5-2 start, 2-2 in section play.
Butler missed the WPIAL playoffs last year for the first time in five seasons. To supplement Hilderbrand's production, senior Jamie Albert and junior KariLee Cowan have scored three goals each.
"Our standard has always been defense," Peoples said. "Our highest goals-against average during our big years was always under a goal per game.
"But we've also had forwards like Meghan Schnur and Annie Lowry," she added. "When you lose high-powered offensive players like that, I think there is an adjustment period."
Consider the girls program adjusted.
"Since I was our leading scorer last year, I felt like it was on me to make sure our offense picks up," Hilderbrand said. "I didn't expect to have eight goals by now, but this team is really playing well together."
Cowan has three goals as a sweeper. Lisa Rodgers is a junior goalkeeper while seniors Lauren Rodgers and Danielle Plaisted have been anchoring the defense.
"There's no cliques on the team this year," Cowan said. "We understand that if we work hard, we'll be good. We're jumping into the play a lot more when we have chances to score. Everyone's a leader. That's where we're at."
Goalkeeper Rodgers agreed.
"We have a lot of depth everywhere," she said. "I have a lot of confidence in my defense. I'm only facing maybe three shots per game."
Hilderbrand, Lauren Rodgers and junior Amanda Dillon are
Butler's captains this year.
"We missed the playoffs by like half a point last year," Hilderbrand said. "Nobody liked sitting it out. There's definitely extra motivation not to let it happen again."

Stingy start
Butler's varsity boys soccer team allowed just three goals while getting off to a 9-0 start this season:
Opponent Score
Highlands 3-0
Schenley 1-0
Ringgold 1-0
N. Allegheny 2-1
Shaler 3-0
Kiski Area 4-0
North Hills 1-0
Montour 2-1
Pine-Richland 4-1