Catasauqua Press

Monday, December 11, 2017
Boys hope to be past rough patch Boys hope to be past rough patch

Boys hope to be past rough patch

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Throughout the early part of the season, Catasauqua’s boys’ soccer team played with plenty of promise and optimism, getting out to a 2-2-1 start under first-year head coach Josh Inman.

Then, like most teams during a season, the Roughies hit the proverbial wall.

Catty dropped three consecutive games, suffering shutouts against Southern Lehigh (6-0), Moravian Academy (4-0), and Salisbury (3-1). However, they bounced back with a 6-0 thumping of Lehigh Valley Christian Tuesday afternoon.

After the win, the Roughies improved to 3-5-1.

“We hit a little bit of a rough patch,” said Inman. “We were competing, but we lost some games. We were challenging, but we came out on the wrong end of it.”

Inman noted the team struggled in the second half of games.

“Southern Lehigh and Moravian Academy both scored all of their goals in the second half,” added Inman. “We had possession for 70 percent of the second half against Salisbury and couldn’t score. We had scoring chances against Salisbury, but they fell through our fingers.

“Lehigh Valley Christian only had 11 players and it is hard to compare them to the Colonial League teams.”

Freshman Damien DiPaulo has been the Roughies’ leading scorer, and senior co-captains Grant Gebhardt and Matt Merkel have been setting the pace.

(DiPaulo) has generated a lot of shots,” said Inman. “Gebhardt and Merkel have done a great job in keeping everyone together. They have done a great job leading us.”

Inman also cited the play of underclassmen Joseph Merkel and Westley Brown, both of whom have elevated their level of play. Still, Inman is seeking to further distribute the team scoring.

“Joseph Merkel has been playing hard and has been the heart and soul of the team,” he said. “Westley Brown has battled through some injuries, but he has been a big asset for us going through some rough parts.

“Right now, we need to find some more goal scorers.”

Inman has been keeping a watch at the District 11 Class 2A power rankings, and he is optimistic his club can grab one of the eight district playoff spots. The Roughies have been missing from the postseason over the past four years.

“That is one of our big goals,” said Inman about reaching the postseason. “We know if we can get there, it is a whole new game. The seniors have been pushing everybody to get to districts.

“We need to produce and play well down the stretch. We have a lot of potential and we need to reach it.”