Pine-Richland coach Jodi Chmielewski, Rams earn soccer honors

Sunday, November 12, 2017 | 11:40 PM

For her large part in guiding the Pine-Richland girls soccer team to a 16-2-1 overall record and a Section 1-AAAA crown, Jodi Chmielewski was named the winner of the Big 56 Coach of the Year Award.

The honor for Chmielewski comes in her 20th season at the helm. She has led the program to 10-plus wins for eight straight seasons, and three section titles in a row.

“It's always a nice recognition, especially when it's chosen by your fellow coaching peers. Of course, in our section it's always an honor because there's just a ton of quality coaches in our section,” the Rams coach said.

“It's definitely a nice honor to receive at the end of the season.”

Some of the Rams top contributors on the field were recognized for their efforts as well, with six players being named to the all-section team, and four of those players being highlighted for the All-WPIAL squad.

Forward Megan Donnelly, a freshman, was named to the All-WPIAL team this season along with a trio of juniors, Becca Libby, Caroline Swan and Alaina Kalin. Swan and Kalin are midfielders, and Libby plays defense.

Each of the four players also was named to the all-section team for Section 1-AAAA. It is Libby and Swan's second straight season being named all-section.

Forwards Sami Kelly and Allie Malobicky were also named to the all-section team, with Kelly receiving the honor for the second time.

The overall amount of players who received the awards for Pine-Richland is impressive alone, but the assortment of classes and positions they play only helps to make the accomplishments more notable.

The Rams had a player in every grade, freshman through senior, receive all-section honors in addition to having forwards, midfielders and a defender win recognition.

“I think it's reflective of our overall team success that our players that were recognized for individual honors play positions that are spread out all over the field,” coach Chmielewski said.

“I think it's a sign of how balanced we were this year, and with so many underclassmen garnering that recognition, too, hopefully that will bode well for us next year as well.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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