Westmoreland County girls soccer notebook: Southmoreland’s Olivia Cernuto out for season

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 | 6:01 PM

Southmoreland senior standout Olivia Cernuto is done for the season with a right knee injury.

Cernuto, a talented forward who will finish her career with exactly 100 goals, was injured last Monday during a home game against Yough.

She had 18 goals this season for the Scotties (7-0, 4-0), the No. 2-ranked team in WPIAL Class 2A heading into the week.

Southmoreland hosts No. 3 Mt. Pleasant (6-0, 3-0) Wednesday night in a first-place showdown in Section 3-2A.. The game will start at 6:30 p.m. due to pending weather.

“The team will adapt collectively,” Scotties coach Josh Pajak said. “They understand that our team shape needs to adjust, but the girls and I expect that we will continue to play at a high level.”

A three-sport athlete, Cernuto also is a star point guard for the basketball team. She recently accepted a scholarship to play college basketball at Gannon.

She also is WPIAL champion triple jumper in track & field.

Cernuto was the 2021 Tribune-Review Westmoreland Girls Athlete of the Year.

Yurko out

Another local player also will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and MCL.

Latrobe sophomore Ava Yurko injured her knee last Wednesday against Franklin Regional.

She was a starting defender for the 3A No. 5-ranked Wildcats.

“This is a huge loss for us, but with the monster mentality and unbelievable work ethic that Ava possesses, she will be back even stronger next season,” Wildcats coach Jamie Morrison said. “This is certainly not the last you will hear from ‘Miss Yurk.’”

Todero hurt

Franklin Regional senior forward Sierra Todero is out of the lineup — the team hopes temporarily — with an ankle injury. She was hurt last week in a 1-0 loss against Latrobe.

Todero was diagnosed with a sprained ankle and is expected to miss about two two weeks.

“In the short term, we don’t have a direct replacement for Sierra,” coach Scott Arnold said.

The closest thing might be Reilly Weaver, who is returning from a knee injury and was working her way back in junior varsity before making the jump back to varsity play.

“I am sure it will take her a few games to get into form,” Arnold said. “For now, we are looking to generate scoring opportunities that suit the attributes of the attacking players we do have.”

Arnold said the ideal scenario is to get Todero and Weaver back to form as the season builds, which could help create more offense.

Rivalry renewed

Longtime rivals Norwin and Penn-Trafford are not in the same classification this year with Penn-Trafford moving down to Class 3A, but the teams made sure to pencil each other in on their schedules.

Penn-Trafford will host a girls-boys doubleheader Saturday with the boys game at 10 a.m. and the girls at 11:30.

Ginny Strong

Latrobe players wore purple T-shirts during warmups before a recent game to honor Ginny Fronk, a goalkeeper at Seneca Valley who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier this season. The shirts said “Ginny Stong” across the back.

Fronk has the WPIAL soccer community backing her as she undergoes treatment.

“(Latrobe goalkeeper) Sofia DeCerb has played with Fronk and rallied with her teammates to bring attention to Ginny’s cause,” Morrison said. “We wanted Ginny to know she has support in her battle and is not alone.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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