Burrell’s Allie Vescio named Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year
Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 6:24 PM
Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year
Burrell, senior, forward
Versatility is a calling card for Allie Vescio.
The Burrell senior entered 2019 preseason practices as a defender with a mind for creating offensive opportunities.
A change in the team’s on-field structure during the preseason moved Vescio and her speed up to a forward position, and she starred in the role.
She put her shot-making ability on display quickly and finished with a team-best 29 goals for the newly crowned Section 2-AA champion. Burrell captured its first section title since 2005.
Vescio added 14 assists as the Bucs finished the regular season as one of only two undefeated WPIAL girls teams.
She tallied a hat trick in a key early-season, 5-1 victory over defending section champion Deer Lakes. A week later, she scored two goals, including the game-winner late in the second half, in a 3-2 triumph against section rival Freeport.
Vescio scored nine goals in four games against Freeport and Deer Lakes. She provided a pair of scores in her team’s 5-0 WPIAL first-round win over Mt. Pleasant.
“Allie’s speed tends to overshadow a lot of things, but one thing about Allie is that she has a brilliant mind for the game,” Burrell coach Frank Nesko said. “Her intelligence and soccer IQ is really high. She’s such a smart player, and that helps take her game to the next level.”
Vescio’s accomplishments earned her all-section and All-WPIAL honors, and they also led to her being named the Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year, edging out Freeport senior Sidney Shemanski and 2018 Player of the Year Madeline Boulos, a sophomore at Deer Lakes, for the honor.
The Edinboro commit recently answered some questions about a season to remember.
How would you describe your team’s season overall?
It was just a great year. Our chemistry this year was like no other. We really supported each other. The excitement kept building with each win.
What is the impact of winning the program’s first section title since 2005? Where did that rank in terms of goals coming into the season?
Being the first team to do that in a long time, it made everyone so happy. We worked so hard from the start and worked for this as a team. We really wanted this.
How tough was it to bow out of the playoffs in the WPIAL quarterfinals, short of your goals of a WPIAL title and a trip to the state playoffs?
We thought we were going to go far in the playoffs. To lose off a corner kick (1-0 to Yough), it made everyone so upset. We didn’t think things were going to end that day. It was so sudden.
Were you surprised that Class AA was so competitive this season, including the playoffs?
Teams like Yough, Hopewell and Deer Lakes, there were a lot of teams that could’ve won the WPIAL title. Everyone was a tough matchup. There were a lot of close matches.
Despite 10 seniors, including yourself, moving on because of graduation, do you feel the program is in good hands moving forward?
(Juniors) Jordyn Kowalkowski and Annie Weimer will lead the team pretty far next year. We also have eight freshmen coming up next year who are really good. There are a lot of players ready to contribute.
Your season was filled with strong individual performances. Do you feel you lived up to your expectations for yourself?
Coming from defense last year and leading the team in goals, it was crazy because I really didn’t think I was going to do that this year. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help my team win.
You had 14 assists to go along with your 29 goals. Was it just as exciting to set up a teammate?
I was just so happy that someone was scoring, we as a team were scoring, and it was helping us win games together.
You will be playing in college at Edinboro with teammate Megan Malits. How fun will that be?
Megan and I have been playing soccer together since we were 8 years old, so it’s great that we can continue that in college together. It will be a much smoother transition having someone you know go through the same thing. It should be a great experience.
Who is a soccer role model for you?
(U.S. Women’s National Team member) Alex Morgan, because she is such a good forward who scores a lot of goals from everywhere on the field. She’s always there for her team. She always gets the job done.
You give your total concentration in sports to soccer, but with your strong leg and powerful shot, did you ever think about kicking for the Burrell football team?
No, I really never gave it much thought. I just like being at the games with my friends and having a good time.
What are some other activities/hobbies you like to do in or out of school?
I like to run all the time. Even if soccer is not in season, I am running and working out. I am always making sure I am in shape and ready for the next season.
Do you and your family have any special holiday traditions?
Every year, on Christmas Eve, we would go to my grandfather’s house and eat ravioli. This year, we’re probably going to have some ravioli or lasagna at our house.
What is a Christmas gift you really want this year?
Honestly, just money or gift cards.
What is something people might not know about you?
I used to really like to bake, cookies and cakes and things like that for my family all the time.
How did you get started what that?
My grandmother would make really good cookies. When I was younger, I would try to help her. When she passed away, no one made cookies, so I started making the same ones she did.
First team all-stars
Madeline Boulos, Deer Lakes, so., F
The All-WPIAL selection tallied 30 goals and added 11 assists for a Lancers squad that made the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals. She has 54 goals over her first two varsity seasons.
Kaitlyn Killinger, Plum, fr., M/F
The first-year varsity performer scored some big goals for the WPIAL runner-up and PIAA-qualifying Mustangs. She led the team in scoring with 18 goals and was second on the team with 10 assists.
Jordyn Kowalkowski, Burrell, jr., M
The All-WPIAL performer again was a scoring threat for a Bucs team that made the WPIAL quarterfinals for the third straight season. She finished with 16 goals and 18 assists.
Danica Johnson, Burrell, sr., M/F
The IUP commit was a featured performer in the lethal Burrell offense. The All-WPIAL pick scored key goals throughout the season and finished with 16 to go along with nine assists.
Lily Litrun, Deer Lakes, jr., F
Tough-as-nails all-section performer again helped lift the Lancers to top-level status in WPIAL Class AA. She tallied 17 goals and 11 assists and recorded a goal in Deer Lakes’ 2-1 win over Quaker Valley in the WPIAL first round.
Courtney Moyer, Kiski Area, sr., D
The All-WPIAL defensive stalwart helped the Cavaliers post seven shutouts en route to a Section 1-AAA runner-up finish and a spot in the WPIAL quarterfinals. She has committed to play softball at Division II Fairmont State (W.Va.)
Sidney Palla, Kiski Area, sr., M
The Cavaliers’ scoring threat posted a team-best 22 goals and added 10 assists. She scored four times in a WPIAL first-round rout of Ringgold and recorded her team’s lone goal in a 3-1 WPIAL quarterfinal loss to West Allegheny. She will play in college with sister Christina at Division I Morehead State.
Gina Proviano, Plum, jr. M/F
Reliable scorer and facilitator helped the Mustangs capture a Section 3-AAA co-championship with Oakland Catholic. She scored 14 goals and added seven assists and earned an All-WPIAL selection for the second year in a row.
Lucy Ream, Fox Chapel, jr., M
The All-WPIAL performer scored a team-high 12 goals and added eight assists for a Fox Chapel squad that topped Upper St. Clair in the WPIAL Class AAAA first round. She scored twice in the Foxes’ 4-3 overtime quarterfinal loss to No. 1 seed and WPIAL runner-up Norwin.
Miranda Shock, Springdale, jr., F
It didn’t come as a shock to her coaches or teammates that the veteran forward played well in helping lead the Dynamos to the WPIAL playoffs for the third year in a row. One of the top scorers in Section 1-A led Springdale with 15 goals.
Sidney Shemanski, Freeport, sr., F
The Yellowjackets star again was a headache for opposing players and coaches. She scored both goals in Freeport’s WPIAL first-round overtime win over Waynesburg and also recorded goals in playoff matchups against Hopewell and South Park to finish with a team-best 38 for the season.
Second team all-stars
Mayce Anthony, Apollo-Ridge, sr., F
Abigail Boulos, Deer Lakes, jr., F
Akina Boynton, Freeport, fr., F
Jessica Cekada, Highlands, soph., F/M
Claudia DeMartino, Fox Chapel, sr., M
Kylie Hoffman, Freeport, jr., D
Lily Iadicicco, Springdale, so., M
Megan Malits, Burrell, sr., M
Delaney O’Brien, Burrell, sr., G
Christina Palla, Kiski Area, sr., M
Katie Patton, Plum, sr., D
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .