Sewickley Academy athlete of the week: Alex Gordon
School: Sewickley Academy
Claim to fame: Alex Gordon will be a Northwestern Wildcat in one year, but the senior wants to leave an unforgettable impression with the Panthers. The midfielder has scored nine goals and tallied five assists during Sewickley Academy’s 7-2 start to the regular season. Gordon said his goals include the Section 1-A title, becoming a two-time WPIAL champion and winning states.
What was it like transitioning into a new season with a new coach in Nate Richter?
I think right off the bat Coach Nate made a statement in that he was ready to push us to be a team he was confident in. He also introduced a new system, which was really refreshing. He had coached a couple of us at FC Pittsburgh, so we already knew what we were getting into and knew it’d be a good thing, and our record proves that.
Sewickley Academy recently went on a seven-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 37-0. To what do you attribute the team’s success?
It all starts in the back with sophomore goalkeeper Nick Wilson, and he has stepped up and proved to be special. Our back line of Jack Duggan, Jackson Coles, John Delvecchio, Cole Rychel and Josh Chico have been strong. They all really click. We’ve got a strong midfield, which creates a lot of opportunities that we capitalize on.
What are your goals this season?
Obviously, we want to win section, and we set the bar super high. A lot of the seniors know it’s our last year and our last opportunity. We want to win WPIALs and show everybody what we’re made of. We want to win states. I don’t know how possible that is, but I feel like we can make a good run. I think we’re serious WPIAL contenders, so we’ll see how it plays out.
You were a key part of the 2016 WPIAL championship team. What would it mean to you to be a two-time WPIAL champion?
I feel the skill level isn’t a lot different. That squad was very close and played well together, and we have the same thing going now. I feel we have a better system now. The way we work the ball through the middle and get it outside and get it to Rees Blaylock up top is a lot more effective than the more direct (style of play) in 2016.
What’s better, setting up one of your teammates with a great pass or scoring an impossible goal?
It all depends on the circumstances. Everyone likes to be the hero, and it’s great to score a crazy, crazy goal from way outside. I feel like it’s better with the team building up the ball and moving it around. I’d like to play a ball through the middle with Reese making a run on it to cash in; that’s better for the team. Our chemistry is more important than an individual goal.
Why did you choose Northwestern?
I talked to the Northwestern coach for a while, and he invited me out to their camp. I dominated at the camp, and I got an offer to a Big Ten soccer program, a great school, and I love Chicago. It’s the place for me to develop as a player and a person overall.