Westmoreland County high school athletes of the week: Greensburg Central Catholic’s Nate Ward and Belle Vernon’s Morgan Einodshofer

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 | 4:43 PM

Nate Ward

School: Greensburg Central Catholic

Sport: Soccer

Year: Senior

Claim to fame: Ward scored two goals in the second half to lead No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic (12-3-1) to a 4-2 win over No. 15 Mohawk in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs Saturday at Butler’s Art Bernardi Stadium. The Centurions advanced to play No. 7 Avonworth (15-3-0) on Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s championship game that Avonworth won.

“I was really nervous there when we went down 1-0 early. It was a shock to all of us and it woke all of us up. I think our defense was a shaky at times, but we’re getting a hang of it there,” Ward said.

What made you decide to commit to Indiana?

It felt a like a second home to me. It felt like a different atmosphere compared to any other Division I program. They have eight national championships and see the playoffs every year.

What does the team need to do to defeat Avonworth in the quarterfinals?

I think we need to play our game. They outplayed us last year. We’ve been waiting for this for a year. We need to move the ball and stay confident on the ball.

What did the team learn from the loss to Avonworth in the Class A WPIAL championship game last season?

We learned the importance about coming out strong. Avoworth took a 2-0 lead in the first half and it was hard to get back to 2-2 to force PKs. We want to come out strong and set the tone early.

What’s your favorite sport and why?

Soccer. I’ve played it all my life. I started to play football during my junior year. I’m doing whatever I can do with the team and I’m having fun with everything.

Who’s the better athlete in the family – Sarah, Sydney or you?

Myself. My sisters have a couple rings from WPIALs and states. If we’re going to play in the backyard, I’m picking myself.

Morgan Einodshofer

School: Belle Vernon

Sport: Soccer

Year: Sophomore

Claim to fame: Einodshofer, who has 24 goals and 25 assists this season, had a goal and three assists for Belle Vernon (15-3, 12-0) in an 8-1 win over Laurel Highlands in Section 2-AAA action Oct. 14. In the first round of the WPIAL playoffs Monday, her goal started a comeback from 2-0 down that led to a 3-2 victory over Ambridge.

“As a team as we’ve played great. Our team chemistry has really improved. Our effort has really improved. I hope that helps us throughout the playoffs,” Einodshofer said.

What’s the team’s mindset heading into the WPIAL playoffs this season?

I think we’re really pumped up for this game and we’re really hoping to make it far.

What did the team learn from a late-season loss to Canon-McMillan?

Canon Mac was a really great team to go against. Their intensity was a really good and it showed us what we needed to do. We need to work together especially against tougher teams in the playoffs.

What’s it like to play alongside someone like Jillian Butchki?

Playing alongside my teammates has been great, especially when you play alongside someone like Jill. She has improved my game and encourages everyone to step up their game. We all encourage each other out there on the field.

How has your game improved from your freshman year?

Since my freshman year, I’ve gained a lot more confidence. In the spring, I had a stress fracture in my shin. I’ve gained more confidence when it comes to the 50-50 balls in the air. I’ve also gotten more comfortable with being on the field overall and I’ve stepped up my game.

Who’s your favorite athlete and why?

Carli Lloyd. She’s pushing herself to do better even if she’s not getting the result she wanted.

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