Westmoreland County girls soccer notebook: Yough peaking at right time
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 | 4:56 PM
File Yough under teams peaking at the right time for the WPIAL girls soccer postseason.
The ninth-seeded Cougars (11-4) gradually are returning to full strength as they get set to play at No. 5 Avonworth (13-1-1) on Wednesday night in the semifinals.
The Class 2A runner-up last year, Yough brought back senior Nicole Croushore for the quarterfinal after she missed all season with an ankle injury.
“(Croushore) definitely made a positive impact, and we are a better team with her on the field,” Yough coach Dann Appolonia said.
The team is hoping to get junior midfielder Haley Lauffer back as well. She is week-to-week, also with an ankle injury.
Appolonia said the key to the South Park upset was defense and goalkeeping.
“We gave up very few quality shots, which allowed (goalkeeper) Marin Sleith to do her job efficiently,” the coach said.
The notable thing about Yough is how it has returned to the final four after losing seven senior starters to graduation, including all-time leading goal scorer Justine Appolonia, now at Youngstown State.
“Most of whom had been four-year starters,” Dann Appolonia said. “So while I knew it would be a tough hill to climb because of the time it takes for younger players to jell as a team, I also knew that we had a chance to be good.”
The All-WPIAL players for this season were announced earlier this week.
Westmoreland County players to make the list include Latrobe senior Maddie Delucio; seniors Lacey Bernick and Katelyn Kauffman and junior Paloma Swankler of Norwin; junior Malia Kearns of Penn-Trafford; seniors Jillian Butchki and Izzy Laurita of Belle Vernon; senior Sydney Caldwell and juniors Sydney Kranick and Sydney Lindeman of Franklin Regional; senior Kaylee Elwood of Kiski Area; senior Jordyn Kowalkowski of Burrell; senior Mackenzie Leeder of Mt. Pleasant; sophomores Olivia Cernuto and Kendall Fabery of Southmoreland; Pritts and Vilchek of Yough; senior Sam Felder, sophomore Sara Felder and juniors Tatum Gretz and Bethany Winnor of Greensburg Central Catholic; and senior Tatum Hoffman of Ligonier Valley.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More High School Soccer Girls• Plum’s Kaitlyn Killinger chosen as Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year
• Sydney Lindeman takes Tribune-Review Westmoreland Girls Soccer Player of the Year honors
• Franklin Regional’s Anthony DiFalco again named Tribune-Review Westmoreland Boys Soccer Player of the Year
• Trib HSSN WPIAL girls soccer all-stars: Steel Valley’s Salopek takes game to next level
• Bethel Park girls soccer continues resurgence with another playoff season