As a freshman midfielder for West Virginia University’s women’s soccer team, Amanda Hill wasn’t expected to be a big goal scorer for the Mountaineers. And the former Trinity High School player scored only two goals in 20 games.
Hill, however, scored what was West Virginia’s most important goal of the season.
It was Hill’s goal in the 73rd minute of an Oct. 20 home match against Oklahoma that broke a scoreless tie, sent West Virginia on its way to a 2-0 victory and gave the Mountaineers the Big 12 regular season championship in their first season in the league.
“You could feel the pressure build and build, and it finally broke through with a nice goal from Amanda,” said WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Amanda is a player who we count on to be bigger than a freshman. And that is what she’s doing for us.”
Hill’s goal, off a short pass and from the left side of the goal, helped West Virginia extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games. The Mountaineers went on to advance to the NCAA tournament, where it suffered a 2-1 loss to Princeton in the first round.
Hill finished the season with two goals and one assist in 20 games for the Mountaineers (11-5-4). After the win over Oklahoma, Hill was named the West Virginia Athlete of the Week and the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.
In cross country
Chelsey Sumney, a redshirt junior at North Carolina-Greensboro, earned first team All-Southern Conference status for the second consecutive year. A Trinity graduate, Sumney finished in third place at the Southern Conference Championships in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., with a time of 17:27.47.
Jessica Zimak, a former Trinity standout distance runner, helped Wheeling Jesuit to the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team championship. Zimak, who rebounded from a stress fracture in a hip, finished 32nd at the WVIAC Championships with a 6,000-meter time of 25:11.
Courtney Farabee, a junior at Valley Forge Christian and a Waynesburg native, was named the National Christian College Athletic Association East Region Libero of the Year for the second straight year. She is the only player in Valley Forge Christian history to receive this award. Farabee led her team in digs with 342, averaging more than four per set. She was ranked 12th nationally in digs.
“Courtney is a passionate and aggressive player with a deep knowledge of volleyball. She is the backbone of the Patriot defense,” said Valley Forge coach Amber Gauthier.
Emily Rosati of Saint Vincent, a junior middle hitter, was named honorable mention All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference. She finished second on the team with 175 kills for the Bearcats, who were 11-16. Rosati is a graduate of South Fayette, where she was a four-year starter for the Lions.
Grove City’s Kait Riesmeyer was named the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Week for Oct. 14-20 by winning one individual event and being part of the Wolverines’ winning 400-freestyle relay team at the Clarion University Fall Classic.
A senior from McMurray and a Peters Township graduate, Riesmeyer won the 100 butterfly in 1:00.49. She is the Grove City record holder in the 100 butterfly and an 11-time NCAA Division III All-American.
Shelby Ward had a big senior season for Slippery Rock and was named second team All-PSAC after helping The Rock to the conference championship and spot in the NCAA Division II tournament.
An Avella native and McGuffey graduate, Ward was Slippery Rock’s second-leading scorer with nine goals, three assists and 21 points. Five of her nine goals were game-winners, including one in the PSAC championship game against California.
Ward had a shooting percentage of 23.1 percent, which tied for the team lead among players with at least 10 shots on goal.
It was the second time Ward has been named All-PSAC.
California University senior defender Kayla Fransko was named first team All-PSAC. A Monongahela native and Ringgold graduate, Fransko scored two goals and helped anchor a Vulcans defense that had nine shutouts in 22 games.
Senior inside linebacker Rudy DeStefano, a Monongahela native and Ringgold graduate, was the second-leading tackler for Allegheny College.
DeStefano made 77 tackles, including 4 ½ for losses and two sacks to help the Gators to a 5-5 overall record and 4-3 mark in the North Coast Athletic Conference. DeStefano also intercepted one pass and returned it 72 yards.
DeStefano had a 14-tackle game Sept. 29 in Allegheny’s 14-3 victory over Oberlin.
Quad Law made an immediate impact for Gannon University. The former Observer-Reporter Offensive Player of the Year while at Ringgold, Law was a wide receiver for the Golden Knights and finished third on the team with 37 pass receptions for 358 yards and one touchdown. Law also returned 15 kickoffs for an average of 18.2 yards.