Westmoreland County girls athlete of the week: Penn-Trafford’s Ava Hershberger

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 | 1:07 PM

Ava Hershberger

School: Penn-Trafford

Sport: Field hockey

Class: Sophomore

Claim to fame: Hershberger, who has 37 goals this season, scored four times and had two assists to lead Penn-Trafford (14-0) to a 9-0 win over Latrobe in a Class 2A win Oct. 19. Hershberger’s four goals set a single-season goal scoring record as she broke the 34-goal season set by Amanda Steffey in 2012. Hershberger scored two goals in a 4-0 win over Aquinas Academy in nonsection play Oct. 21. No. 1 Penn-Trafford took on No. 4 Latrobe in the opening round of the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs Tuesday.

“It was a good season as a team. We did well connecting and passing. We’ve known each other for a long time. I’m happy with how I’ve done this past week,” Hershberger said.

How does it feel to break the school record that stood for close to a decade?

It’s really exciting. It wasn’t a goal of mine to start the season. But as we got a few games in which I scored two or three goals, I asked my coach what the record was, and I was able to get it.

What did it mean to you to clinch the Class 2A section title?

My sister is a senior, and I have a lot of friends that are seniors so to let them finish off a section and, hopefully, WPIAL champs is what I’m really happy about.

What’s the team’s mindset heading into the opening round matchup against Latrobe?

I think we’re confident we can beat them again. We’ve beat them twice already this season. I know none of the girls will take them lightly because we know it won’t be an easy game.

What would it mean to bring home Penn-Trafford’s sixth consecutive WPIAL title?

It would mean a lot, especially since field hockey is not a popular sport in Pittsburgh and that the sections changed three or so years ago. We were able to win against all the different teams we played. It shows that we’re a good field hockey school.

How has your game changed from last year to this year?

I play year-round. I do indoor club in the winter, and I go to camps as well. I think my overall knowledge of the game has improved. My hits got stronger. My defensive positioning has gotten better. My ability to improve on the little things has helped with my overall game.


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