Riverview’s Lola Abraham selected Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Player of the Year

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Friday, June 21, 2024 | 11:31 AM


Lola Abraham enjoyed one of the most prolific high school careers in WPIAL girls soccer history, and that included a 2023 senior season when she scored 77 goals and added 20 assists to help lead the Riverview girls soccer team to the WPIAL and PIAA title games.

A bevy of accolades came rolling in honoring the Pitt commit’s standout final varsity season.

Abraham picked up another laurel Thursday as she was selected the Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

The award, in its 39th year of honoring the country’s top high school athletes, celebrates excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.

“When I heard the news and saw it online, I was honored and grateful to even be considered for the award,” Abraham said.

“Out of all the special accolades I have received, it is one of the greatest. I am truly grateful to Gatorade for selecting me.”

Abraham will receive a trophy, and Riverview will receive a banner to display.

The 5-foot-4 midfielder showed her speed and scoring prowess with multi-goal efforts throughout Riverview’s 22-4 season, which included an outright Section 1-A title.

The Raiders finished 11-1 in section play, one game ahead of Greensburg Central Catholic, and two games clear of rival Springdale.

“This award wouldn’t have been possible without the help from my teammates,” Abraham said.

“Soccer is not a single-person sport. It is a total team effort from the defense through the midfield to the attack. All the support behind me from family, friends, coaches and teammates motivated me and pushed me to be my best at all times.”

Abraham’s talents on display earned praise and respect from those within the Raiders program and others who had to game plan for her.

“Lola is a fantastic player who has the ability to take over any game she plays in,” Springdale coach Marc Bentley said. “She reads the game very well, covers a lot of ground quickly and scores a variety of goals from different positions on the field.”

Abraham tallied a hat trick in 18 of the 25 games she played, and she added 12 four-goal and one five-goal efforts.

She also was presented the Moe Rosensteel Most Outstanding Player Award in November, recognizing her as the top player in Western Pennsylvania.

A two-time first-team all-state selection, Abraham finished her three-year varsity career with 176 goals and 37 assists. Riverview didn’t field a team her freshman year because of low roster numbers.

“To be honored out of all the great players in the state, it is a special thing for her, and as her coach and her father, I am so proud of her. You can’t ask for too much more,” Riverview coach Sean Abraham said.

“Her ability to be confident but not overconfident stood out for me. She would stay grounded no matter the situation in a game and be able to do her job to her highest ability. The support of her teammates was big in helping her perform the way she did. I think that was the case in all of her sports.”

Abraham, while continuing to sharpen her soccer skills with training and competition throughout the winter and spring, also represented Riverview on the girls basketball and track and field teams.

She averaged 10 points to help the girls basketball team finish as runner-up to St. Joseph in Section 3-A. The team advanced to the WPIAL semifinals, finished fourth and punched its ticket to the state tournament.

Transitioning to outdoor track and field, Abraham, along with Jonisha Carlino, Katerina Tsambis and Cailey Trosch, set a school record (4 minutes, 9.49 seconds) in the 1,600-meter relay and placing fifth at the WPIAL Class 2A championships May 15 at Slippery Rock.

Individually, Abraham earned spots on the medals podium with a sixth in the triple jump (35 feet, 5.5 inches) and an eighth in the long jump (16-8.25).

Abraham, who graduated with a 4.2 weighted GPA, also served on the Riverview student council and volunteered in community service projects with the school’s Key Club.

She also has given back as a youth soccer coach and referee.

The Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Player of the Year returns to the WPIAL after a two-year hiatus.

Mars graduate and Abraham’s new teammate with the Panthers, Ellie Coffield, took home the award in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which calls upon experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Abraham will go up against the girls soccer winners from the other 49 states and the District of Columbia for the Gatorade National Player of the Year to be awarded in the next week or two.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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