Franklin Regional notebook: Ex-Panthers make mark in college soccer

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Saturday, November 12, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Colleges have a soccer pipeline going to Franklin Regional, and the recruits are producing at the next level.

Sophomore Blake Cooper has been one of the top offensive threats in the AMCC for Penn State Behrend. The midfielder had a team-best 10 goals and six assists for 26 points through 20 games for the Lions (13-2-5, 6-0-1), while senior defender Justin LeDonne had two goals and one assist.

Behrend reached the second round of the AMCC Tournament.

Both players were All-AMCC First Team picks.

At Grove City, the Kimmich brothers helped the Wolverines finish with a 10-0 mark in PAC play (12-5-1 overall).

The Wolverines were clipped by Bethany in the PAC Tournament semifinals, 4-1 on penalty kicks, after the teams tied 3-3 in 90 minutes of regular time.

Sophomore defender Luke Kimmich had an assist in the match, giving him four on the season to go with a goal. He played in 18 matches, starting 16 of them.

His older brother and back-line teammate, Matt Kimmich, saw time in 14 games and contributed to eight shutouts.

Two other former Panthers helped their teams to conference tournament appearances.

Junior defender Connor Hudson played four games for a unit that had eight shutouts going into the Big South Conference Tournament. And freshman Zach Lorenz, a forward, has one goal over 13 games for Sacred Heart, which opened the Northeast Conference Tournament with its first Division I postseason win in program history, 1-0 over St. Francis.

All-WPIAL

Girls soccer talent is bubbling over in Westmoreland County, as evidenced by postseason playoff runs, career scoring milestones and Division I commitments.

The proof also lies in the All-WPIAL list, which was released last week.

Franklin Regional had two players make the list — Aris Lamanna (Jr., GK) and Sierra Todero (Sr., F).

Mt. Pleasant, which made the WPIAL 2A championship for the first time, had five selections in sophomore forward Rylin Bugosh, senior midfielder Marissa Garn, freshman forward Morgan Gesinski, junior midfielder Riley Gesinski, and junior defender Maggie Piper.

Latrobe, a WPIAL 3A semifinalist and PIAA qualifier, had four picks: junior midfielder Ella Bulava, senior goalkeeper Sofia DeCerb, junior midfielder Regan Reilly, and sophomore midfielder Robin Reilly.

Also making the list were Greensburg Central Catholic pair Sara Felder (Sr., F) and Riley Kerr (So., F), who guided the Centurions to the WPIAL semis and PIAA tournament in Class A; Norwin senior defender Reagan Casper; McKenzie Pritts (Sr., F) and Kendalyn Umbel (So., MF) of Yough; senior midfielder Kendall Fabery of Southmoreland; Belle Vernon senior forward Farrah Reader, and Burrell senior midfielder Ali Hughes.

Thousand Island

Franklin Regional bowed out early in the WPIAL Class 5A football playoffs, falling 21-0 to Woodland Hills in the first round. The third-seeded Panthers finished 6-4.

An unquestionable highlight this season was quarterback Roman Sarnic, who accomplished a rare feat in his first year as a starter. The senior ran and passed for over 1,000 yards.

The Panthers lost three times during the regular season. All three were in overtime.

Panthers drop road game

The Franklin Regional hockey team saw a two-game losing streak end with a 6-3 loss to Bishop McCort.

Shawn Sinclair had two goals and Nicholas Matus added one for the Panthers (2-3).

College scene

Updates on Franklin Regional alumni playing in college:

Football

Duquesne: Sophomore wide receiver Nick Leopold pulled in his first college touchdown reception as the Dukes (3-6, 2-3) held off Sacred Heart, 35-28, in overtime. Leopold caught a 20-yard strike in the second quarter.

Washington & Jefferson: Junior Justin Johns was a force on defense for the Presidents in a 31-10 victory over Grove City. The linebacker ripped off a career-high 18 tackles, eight solo, to go with a sack and an interception. He was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week.

Women’s soccer

Westminster: Sophomore Brooke Horvath helped the Titans (14-3-2) win the PAC title. Horvath three goals and one assist.

Men’s soccer

Duquesne: Freshman Anthony DiFalco played 30 minutes in the Dukes’ 2-1 win over LaSalle in the Atlantic 10 Tournament second round. DiFalco, a three-time high school All-American, has played in four games and has three shots for Duquesne (11-3-4).

Women’s volleyball

Penn State Behrend: Senior libero Paige Feorene and the Lions finished as the runner-up in the AMCC. Feorene had 27 digs, 11 service aces and 12 points in 24 sets for Behrend (14-13).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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