A-K Valley girls athlete of the week: Plum’s Ava Weleski

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 12:01 AM


Ava Weleski

Class: Sophomore

School: Plum

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Weleski scored the winning goal for Plum in a 2-1 victory over Mechanicsburg in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals Saturday. She also has three multi-goal games in the postseason and a total of seven goals. This season is the first time Plum girls soccer has won a state playoff game.

What was the feeling like to score the winning goal on Saturday?

It really felt great. We let up an early goal two minutes into the game. After tying it we were hoping to get another quick one so we didn’t go to overtime. I saw some space and made a run, and our defender, Nina Kite, played me a long ball. I got a good touch and hit it and hoped for the best. Watching it go in felt great.

What’s been the key to scoring as many goals as you have in the playoffs?

Honestly, it comes down to running your butt off. There’s been many plays where I’ve doubted I could get to the ball, but I tell myself that I’m going to get there and score. That really helps me finish them into the back of the net.

What’s it like to be on a historic run like this team has been on?

It’s been really fun getting to be able to play longer after losing to Mars in the WPIAL final. I think everyone is really grateful that we’re getting this opportunity to keep on playing together.

Who has been a major influence on your soccer career?

My older brother (Michael). He’s a senior on the (Plum) boys soccer team. He comes to a ton of my games, and I’ve always got to go watch him play. He always has my back watching and encouraging me. Even after their season ended (in the WPIAL consolation game), he’s still been there in the stands watching and cheering me on.

Who is your favorite professional soccer player/team?

Cristiano Ronaldo, because I’ve been watching him since I was a little kid. He’s such a great player, and he’s always composed even in the games his team is losing.

What is your favorite school subject?

Math, because I like taking on challenges even though it can be hard sometimes. I feel like I can relate it to soccer, too, like when we’re down a goal or two and trying to overcome that challenge as a team.

What are your hobbies outside of soccer?

I like to run and lift and go biking. I also started skiing for the first time last year.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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