Plum senior soccer players to continue careers at next level
Monday, March 15, 2021 | 1:01 PM
Plum girls soccer coach Jamie Stewart knew that at the end of the 2020 season he would be losing another strong senior class that had accomplished a great deal on and off the field.
The senior group finished 32-5-1 at home and 58-16-1 over four seasons.
The Mustangs won back-to-back section titles and made it to consecutive WPIAL Class 5A title games.
The 2019 squad went to the state playoffs for the first time in school history.
Coming out of this past season, several of those seniors were celebrated as they made decisions to attend Division I or II schools to continue their playing careers.
“It’s certainly humbling to be able coach such a talented group of young ladies,” Stewart said.
“I am super excited for those who are able to take soccer to the next step and play at the various colleges and universities. Their hard work and perseverance throughout all the years has really paid off in what they want to do.”
Gina Proviano, the Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year for 2020, made her decision late last month as she will play at the Division I level at Long Island in the Northeast Conference.
Senior forward Jamie Seneca will join the women’s team at Gannon, midfielder Carly O’Connell will continue to play at Edinboro and fellow defenders Abby Lewis and Andrea D’Inau have signed letters of intent to play at IUP.
Proviano scored 70 goals and added 33 assists over four years as one of the WPIAL’s top girls soccer players.
“I love Plum and I loved playing soccer here,” Proviano said. “The past four years were amazing, especially the last two. We made history. I know the girls are going to be right there again next year.”
The decision was an all-around fit for Proviano, who said she liked the up-and-coming women’s soccer program combined with her chosen course of study toward becoming a cardiovascular profusionist, an important part of an operating room for major heart operations.
“I looked into the program there, and as soon as that was the offer, that was where I knew I wanted to go. Academics comes first,” she said.
When exploring the LIU women’s soccer team, Proviano said she knew she could make an impact there and help the team rise up in the NEC.
Seneca hopes to continue her offensive prowess at Gannon after scoring 14 goals and adding nine assists this past fall.
Proviano, Seneca, D’Incau, Lewis and O’Connell joined fellow seniors Samantha Stewart, Erica Taylor and Kelly Kvortek in helping the Mustangs finish 16-1 overall and 12-0 in Section 3-3A in a 2020 season filled with ups and downs and uncertainties amidst the covid pandemic.
“That’s the tough thing about coaching high school sports where you get to the end of their career and they move on,” Stewart said.
“You bond with the players, and it’s sad to see them go. We close one year, and then start the next but we never forget their accomplishments and contributions. We’re also excited to see what they can do in their college careers. It’s a little bittersweet when you look at it in that aspect.”
Plum outscored its opponents 93-6 over its 17 games and outscored its first three playoff opponents — Gateway, Thomas Jefferson and West Allegheny by a combined 11-0.
The Mustangs went toe-to-toe with Mars in the WPIAL championship game at North Allegheny. A penalty-kick goal was the difference in the 1-0 win by the Planets.
“The seniors, all of them, set a great example of leadership for not only the freshmen, sophomores and juniors, but for the younger kids coming up through the youth program,” Stewart said. “The younger kids see where these seniors are going, and it gives them something to strive for.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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