A-K Valley senior spotlight: Plum’s Marissa Liberto
Monday, November 15, 2021 | 10:06 AM
Plum girls soccer
Marissa Liberto can score a goal or two.
She also loves setting up her teammates.
The Plum senior forward/midfielder and newly minted All-WPIAL performer just wants to win soccer games.
“Winning the game is all that matters,” said Liberto, who will help lead the 21-2-1 Mustangs into Tuesday’s match with Mars in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals at Shaler’s Titans Stadium.
Liberto, who shares Plum All-WPIAL honors with junior defender Kaley Simqu and junior attacker Kaitlyn Killinger, ranks second in a loaded Plum offense with a career-best 18 goals, and she leads the team with 15 assists.
Liberto will have the opportunity to continue playing soccer at the next level. Clarion and Point Park have shown great interest in the Plum standout. She plans to major in forensic science and criminology with a minor in coaching.
What do you see as your biggest improvement from your junior season to now?
Personally, I have become more of a vocal leader and stepping up my play on the field. I also improved on my athleticism and strength with time in the weight room in the offseason.
You received all-star recognition in the section and the WPIAL overall. How does that feel to be honored in that way?
It feels amazing. I feel accomplished with all the work I’ve put in to improve my game and be the best player I can be.
What stands out for you about this memorable run your team is on?
I think it is just experiencing it all with a group of girls I’ve been playing soccer with since I was 7 years old. It is also really great to be able to share this with everyone else in the school. There’s a lot of pride.
How do you see your role as a prominent veteran varsity player for younger players in elementary school and junior high who will be the future of the program?
I was one of those young players, and I know how much I looked up to the seniors and the other varsity players when I would watch games. I want to make sure I am playing my best and setting a good example.
What has it taken for this team to get to where it is now, one win away from Hershey?
We are just working so well as a team. Our defense has been playing phenomenally, and we have a great keeper (Megan Marston) who doesn’t let much get by her. We know we don’t have to score many goals to get the win, but I like that we have a dangerous offense, too.
Five Plum players have at least 12 goals. How much fun is it to have so many offensive weapons?
We always have different ways to attack. We have so much depth in the offense. We know each other so well, so we can quickly set up an attack and overwhelm an opposing defense with it.
What was the experience like in your final home game against Hampton in the WPIAL quarterfinals?
It didn’t hit me fully until the game ended. Winning that quarterfinal game on our home field was amazing. It was a great memory (the seniors) will always have.
Do you play any other sports at Plum?
I tried almost every other sport, but nothing stuck to me like soccer did. I sacrificed some of the other sports and activities in favor of offseason training for soccer.
If soccer didn’t exist, in what sport do you think you would get involved?
Probably basketball or throwing in track and field.
Do you have any hobbies outside of school?
I lift weights very often. I’ve done it for a long time. I love working out in general and just staying in shape.
What music do you listen to getting ready for a game?
When we get 10 to 15 minutes away from a stadium, I put my headphones in and listen to a specific playlist. There is a variety on it: Lil Skies, Tyler, the Creator and Doja Cat are probably my top three.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More High School Sports• What to watch for in WPIAL sports on May 24, 2022: Softball rivalry writes another chapter
• Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week for May 23, 2022
• High school roundup for May 23, 2022: Madden Clement’s shutout sends Butler into semifinals
• High school scores, summaries and schedules for May 23, 2022
• No. 1 Mt. Lebanon breaks ‘curse’ with quarterfinal win over Seneca Valley