Westmoreland County high school soccer notes: GCC’s Nate Ward double-booked for Friday night

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | 4:55 PM

Greensburg Central Catholic senior Nate Ward not only is one of the top soccer players in the WPIAL, but he also is the kicker for the Centurions football team.

Since both teams have a playoff game Friday night, he had a choice to make.

The soccer team plays in the WPIAL Class A championship against Winchester Thurston at 6 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. The football team kicks off a Class A quarterfinal at 7 at West Greene.

Ward said soccer is his top priority, but he might try to attend both games.

“Maybe I can make the second half (of the football game),” he said.

All-American honor

A pair of WPIAL soccer players were selected to play in the High School All-American games set for Dec. 7 in Orlando, Fla.

Six district players were nominated, but only Ward and Gateway senior goalkeeper Madisyn Neundorfer made the cut.

Neundorfer is one of the top shot-stoppers in the state. She has committed to play at Duquesne. Gateway finished 8-10-1 this season and lost to Plum, 2-1, in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

Ward, who is from Connellsville, has 25 goals this season for GCC (14-3-1). He is an Indiana recruit.

Neundorfer plays on a cup team with Century Soccer, while Ward suits up for Beadling SC.

Girls from the WPIAL to play in the All-American game are Bailey Cartwright of Greensburg Central Catholic in 2016 (Notre Dame) and Norwin’s Emily Harrigan in 2017 (Rutgers).

Josh Lichini of North Allegheny played for the boys team in 2017. Max Silberg, who spent a year at Fox Chapel before transferring to The Kiski School, played in 2016.

Goods hands with All-State

Three local boys players were named to the Pennsylvania State Coaches Association All-State Team. Two are from Franklin Regional — sophomore Anthony DiFalco and senior Connor Hudson. The third is senior Niko Apodiakos of Belle Vernon.

Bernick hurt

Norwin played without junior midfielder Lacey Bernick in Monday’s 1-0 victory over Seneca Valley in the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals. Bernick, a Pitt recruit, injured her foot in the quarterfinal win over Fox Chapel in overtime and was in a walking boot Monday. Norwin coaches said Bernick is “day to day.”

In Liz We trust

Norwin goalkeeper Liz Waszkiewicz had a performance to remember in Monday’s semifinal win over Seneca Valley. The junior made 16 saves, repeatedly repelling chances by the Raiders, who attacked from all angles.

Waszkiewicz even challenged several attempts, inching out of the box to get a jump on a stop.

“She wasn’t just getting (shots) she is used to getting,” Norwin coach Leslie Kaminski said. “She was getting shots from all over. She works so hard at practice every day and she gets stronger every game. She’s a leader.”

Good karma?

Yough coach Dann Appolonia was suspicious of the WPIAL Class AA seedings, which placed his team No. 5 despite the Cougars tying No. 3 South Park for a section title.

He questioned how undefeated Burrell got the No. 4 seed and no first-round bye, and how North Catholic was the No. 2 seed despite finishing second in its section.

Yough sorted it all out by reaching the WPIAL title game for the first time in school history. Now, the Cougars will get a shot at North Catholic and could really prove a point with a victory.

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

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