Senior class put stamp on Penn-Trafford girls soccer program

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Saturday, November 23, 2019 | 9:01 AM


Sarah Nguyen, Megan Giesey and Emma Rain are familiar faces in the Penn-Trafford girls soccer program.

The seniors were four-year starters for the Warriors, who took second place in Section 3-AAAA, advanced to the WPIAL playoffs and finished with a 12-7 record.

“Having three girls that have started since they were freshmen brought so much leadership and experience to the table this year on the field,” coach Jackie Bartko said.

The Warriors coach lauded the talents and contributions of all three players:

Nguyen: “Sarah is so motivated and driven to win every game. She takes the game and her play in each game very seriously.”

Giesey: “Megan is dedicated to the game, always focused. … She truly has made incredible saves year after year and has kept us competing in a lot of games. It has been really fun to watch her all four years.”

Rain: “Emma is one of the nicest, hardest-working girls I have ever met. She goes out every game and plays for her team.”

Nguyen ranked among the Warriors’ leading scorers with 11 goals. She plans to continue her career at Akron.

“Over my four years playing at Penn-Trafford, I have made so many close friends and memories I will never forget and learned a lot about the game from those before me,” Nguyen said.

One of Nguyen’s fondest memories at P-T was winning the WPIAL Class AAAA championship at Highmark Stadium in 2017.

“Winning WPIALs was definitely a season and game we will never forget,” she said.

Giesey is rated as one of the top goalies in Western Pennsylvania. She racked up 19 shutouts the past two years and 38 for her career, and finished with 57 career wins.

“We had a successful season by being a competitive team in the AAAA conference and working well together on the field,” Giesey said. “… Even though we did fall short of winning the WPIAL championship, we did make it farther in playoffs than last year, which is always a team goal.”

Giesey will continue her career at Pitt-Johnstown. One of Giesey’s favorite memories mirrored Nguyen’s: winning the WPIAL championship against rival Norwin.

“The whole journey to get there was incredible,” Giesey said, “and I am thankful I could contribute to making it happen.”

Rain, who missed half of last season because of an ACL injury, peppered in 10 goals this fall. She is a Seton Hill commit.

Nguyen, Giesey, Rain and sophomore midfielder Malia Kerns were lauded as All-WPIAL and first-team Big 56 all-stars. Kearns led the Warriors with 13 goals. Kearns, Nguyen and Rain netted 34 goals between them.

Nguyen, Giesey, Rain and senior defender Hayley Grunberg, a first-team Big 56 all-star and Barton recruit, served as captains this season.

The Warriors’ three other seniors were midfielders Haley Hofmeister and Alexis Buzzard and defender Christina DeLuca. Hofmeister plans to continue her career at Aurora.

Penn-Trafford will have 19 of the 26 girls in the program back next year, including nine juniors — midfielders Mackenzie Powell, Alexa Wagner, McKenzie Septak, Sydney Marchand and Holly Harding and defenders Maria Sholtes, Sydney Sullivan, Maya Roman and Taylor DeStefano.

“We are losing seven seniors this year. That’s a lot of spots that open up for next year,” Bartko said. “I have seen so much motivation and drive from our underclassmen that I know we will have girls step up to fill those roles of the seniors.”

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