Southmoreland’s Cernuto chosen Tribune-Review Westmoreland Girls Soccer Player of the Year

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Saturday, November 28, 2020 | 4:07 PM


Player of the Year

Olivia Cernuto

So., MF, Southmoreland

Olivia Cernuto moved to forward this season for the Southmoreland girls soccer team, and the Scotties went forward with her.

The Scotties were one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 season as they won their first section title since 2011 and made the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in eight years.

Cernuto, a sophomore midfielder, tallied 37 goals and nine assists for the Scotties (13-2), who reached the quarterfinals.

Her performance earned her Tribune-Review Westmoreland Girls Soccer Player of the Year honors.

Several players from Greensburg Central Catholic also were considered.

“The whole team had a great season, and Olivia was a big part of that,” Scotties coach Josh Pajak said. “I think Olivia moving up top to the forward position was a no-brainer. It is such a mismatch due to her skill and athleticism.”

Cernuto said the program had a turnaround season.

“We went from winning maybe one to two games a season to having a winning season and making it to the quarterfinals,” she said.

“This was definitely a memorable season for all of us. We enjoyed every minute of it, and our team was filled with a great group of girls. I am really looking forward to my next two years and to see what we can do next.”

Cernuto, a two-sport standout (basketball), has 63 goals in her still-budding career.

“She has been playing soccer her whole life and is a strong technical player,” Pajak said.

“She strikes the ball well and has a knack for finding the goal. She has the ability to take over a game and come through in pressure situations.”

All-stars

First team

Lacey Bernick

Sr., MF, Norwin

Pitt commit earned All-WPIAL honors and had eight goals and seven assists for a Class 4A playoff team.

Jillian Butchki

Sr., F, Belle Vernon

Led Leopards with 27 goals and 14 assists (101 career goals), while earning All-WPIAL recognition.

Kendall Fabery

So., MF, Southmoreland

A talented offensive player who played defense for the upstart Scotties, she had a goal and three assists.

Sam Felder

Sr., MF, Greensburg Central Catholic

IUP commit had 25 goals and 12 assists and earned All-WPIAL accolades for WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up.

Sara Felder

So., F, Greensburg Central Catholic

All-WPIAL player had 29 goals and 13 assists to lead Centurions, who won WPIAL title and finished second in the state.

Tatum Gretz

Jr., MF, Greensburg Central Catholic

All-WPIAL selection and Villanova commit had 25 goals and 13 assists as GCC won WPIAL title and made PIAA final.

Katelyn Kauffman

Sr., MF, Norwin

A Pitt recruit and All-WPIAL player, she had 11 goals to help Norwin return to the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinals.

Izzy Laurita

Sr., MF, Belle Vernon

Georgia State commit and All-WPIAL honoree had 21 goals and 12 assists for playoff team.

Sydney Lindeman

Jr., MF, Franklin Regional

All-WPIAL pick and Towson commit had 12 goals and three assists for Panthers, who reached the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals.

MacKenzie Leeder

Sr., MF, Mt. Pleasant

A Duquesne signee and All-WPIAL player, she had 21 goals for Class 2A playoff team.

McKenzie Pritts

So., F, Yough

An All-WPIAL selection, she had 20 goals to help Cougars make postseason run and return to WPIAL Class 2A semifinals.

Second team

Sydney Caldwell, Sr., GK, Franklin Regional

Maddie Delucio, Sr., F, Latrobe

Morgan Einodshofer, Jr., MF, Belle Vernon

Tatum Hoffman, Sr., F, Ligonier Valley

Malia Kearns, Jr., MF, Penn-Trafford

Taylor Klingensmith, Jr., MF, Southmoreland

Sydney Kranick, Jr., F, Franklin Regional

Kylie Smith, Jr., F, Greensburg Salem

Paloma Swankler, Jr., F, Norwin

Bethany Winnor, Jr., MF, Greensburg Central Catholic

Natalie Vilchek, Sr., MF, Yough

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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