The good news for the Pittston Area girls soccer team is that players with starting experience return at all 10 field positions from a team that went 12-3 in Wyoming Valley Conference play.
The better news for coach Nicole Tieso is that all of those players still have more time together after this season.
“That’s even better,” Tieso said. “I definitely can’t complain.”
The combination makes for lofty goals this season and beyond.
“Our goal is to make it back to districts,” Tieso said, “and to do better this time.”
The group has also found success together in other sports, including on the track where they have combined to display both their speed and endurance.
Tieso will try to take advantage of both of those attributes on the soccer field.
“They push each other,” she said. “They’re very fast. Speed is very important, especially up front, and the endurance helps in the midfield.”
There could be some juggling of positions as Tieso settles the team into a 4-4-2 alignment.
Juniors Megan Karuzie and Katelyn Pugliese and sophomore Tiffany Tubioli are back on defense. Junior Olivia Giambra plays both midfield and defense.
Liz Waleski, Carly Filipski and Madison Cardinale are junior midfielders. Sophomore Samantha Mayers is also at midfielder.
Junior Allie Barber returns at forward while sophomore Madison Mimnaugh has experience at both forward and midfield.
Wyoming Area also has underclassmen among its veteran players from a team that went 8-7 in the WVC.
Roberto Sosa returns to take over as coach for Mike Sokolas, who has switched to an assistant position in the boys program.
“Right now they’re getting used to training together and learning the system,” said America Sosa, who will serve as assistant coach under her father.
Senior Sam Acacio is back after receiving all-star recognition for her play as a defender and midfielder.
Danielle Stillarty, a senior, was a part-time starter.
Myiah Custer is a returning starter along with Chaslyn Facciponti and Jordan Kelly, who each made several starts and saw significant playing time in the other games.
Berwick and Dallas finished first and second. Coughlin and Lake-Lehman finished fourth and fifth, behind Pittston Area. All are expected to be in contention again this season.