Cranberry Twp. residents help ODP team win
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
July 16, 2014
Click for larger picture
The PA West U-16 Olympic Development boys soccer team recently won the Region 1 Rider Cup Tournament. Team members include, front row from left: Sam Patry, Sean McCann, Alex Schroeck, James Young, Alec Belcastro, Marc Alexander, Jorge Olan, Luke Maher, Max Silberg; back row: head coach Reuben Azevedo, Ryan Landry, Adam Mascio, Paul Bence, Nicholas Bisceglia, Alex Peperak, Stefano Paulina, Ben Cinker, assistant coach Harry Jennings. Missing from photo: Klein Verhill.

CRANBERRY TWP — Getting extra time on the soccer field can help any player anytime.

The bonus play Cranberry Township youths Sam Patry, Jorge Olan and Adam Mascio are receiving is priceless.

All three are members and starters on the PA West U-16 Olympic Development team (ODP) that recently won the Region 1 Rider Cup Tournament at Rider University in New Jersey. The semifinals and finals of that event were played in New Castle, Del.

“All three are great kids and they have aspirations of playing soccer at the collegiate level,” said PA West coach Reuben Azevedo, also from Cranberry Township.

Patry, a center back, will be a sophomore at Central Catholic this season. He started as a freshman for the Vikings, who won their fourth successive section title last year.

Olan, a center midfielder, and Mascio, a striker, attend Seneca Valley.

The PA West ODP program offers annual tryouts for various age groups. Anyone living in western Pennsylvania is eligible.

“We had 33 players try out this year,” Azevedo said. “Some live in Erie, State College, they’re from all over. We got together five times in the winter, seven times in the spring.

“After that, we choose our best 18 and that’s our team.”

Patry said the team only got to practice three times together prior to the tournament.

“It would have been a lot more, but we had a lot of rain and the grass fields didn’t hold up,” he said. “We didn’t get in as much time as we wanted.”

But it was enough.

“We just jelled as a team,” Patry said. “We’re all good players and it didn’t take us long to learn each other’s strengths.”

ODP Region 1 is comprised of 11 states, ranging from North Carolina to Maine. PA West went 5-0 in the tourney while allowing only two goals.

The team defeated Rhode Island (2-0), Maine (7-1), Virginia (2-0), PA East (2-1) and New York East in the finals.

The title game went scoreless before PA West won in a shootout.

“We played different types of defense and guys knew when to come back (on defense),” Patry said. “We moved the ball well.

“This was the same team we put together last year, when we got to the (region) quarterfinals. This year, that experience paid off.”

PA West now advances to the ODP Nationals in March of 2015. That event takes place in Frisco, Texas.

“I took a team there in 2010 and we came home with the bronze medal,” Azevedo said. “Maybe this time, we’ll do a little better.

“Regardless, these kids have a lot to be proud of. ODP soccer is the best of the best and they got through.”