Penn Hills keeper Blair ready for next level at Waynesburg
By: Andrew John
Thursday, January 3, 2019 | 10:09 PM
Autumn Blair, goalie for the Penn Hills girls soccer team, revealed where she will continue her athletic career in college, announcing via her personal Twitter account that she committed to Waynesburg.
“It was a hard decision, but Waynesburg just felt like home to me,” Blair said. “The coach was really adamant about me going there, and she really marketed Waynesburg for me.
“The coaches are very helpful, and she played at the international level so I thought that was pretty cool and could really benefit my game.”
This season, Blair headlined the Indians with a first-team Section 3-4A selection in the PA Big 56 Conference all-section selections. She was the steady voice guiding the backline for the Indians (3-14, 2-10), who missed the playoffs after qualifying the last two seasons.
During her junior year, Blair was an honorable mention selection. Blair, who plays club soccer for Century United, was deciding between Waynesburg and Bryn Mawr.
Blair will major in cybersecurity. In preparing for the Division III level, Blair has been working on improving her reaction time, footwork and other general aspects related to goalkeeping.
During the recruitment process, Blair knew a member of the Yellow Jackets, Teagan Jenner. Blair credited Jenner with the making her feel at home.
“It was really nice to reconnect with her and just how she made me feel like part of the team,” Blair said. “I felt like I knew somebody there, so if I had trouble I could go to her.”
Every athlete’s recruitment process is different. In Blair’s case, she didn’t realize where she would receive offers and how emotions would overtake her while on her visits because she would have a tendency to get attached to a school.
“In the beginning, I had really big goals. I thought I was going to get Division I offers,” she said. “But when it came down to it, it was a lot of Division III. At first, I was like, that is not where I wanted to be.
“I feel like there is a stigma around Division III, but there shouldn’t be because it’s very flattering since your academics are there and they want you to come play for them.”
Last season, Waynesburg finished 7-7-2 and 3-5 in the President’s Athletic Conference.
Blair is looking forward to stepping on campus and being in the mix in the goalkeeper competition.
As she reflects on her time with Penn Hills and Century United, she said will never forget representing Penn Hills on the field.
“It was a ride. The support from my teammates actually helped a lot,” Blair said. “We didn’t have the results like the other teams who had cut players. I think that’s what made us better and made me better. I think it benefited my play by getting more reps.”
Andrew John is a freelance writer.
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