Athlete of the Week: Emily Franty, Peters Township
Name: Emily Franty
School: Peters Township
Franty’s week: Franty finished a feed from Olivia Roberson in the 45th minute this past Saturday to help the Peters Township girls soccer team win its third consecutive PIAA Class AAA title with a 1-0 victory over Cumberland Valley at Hersheypark Stadium.
The Indians (24-1) became the state’s first girls soccer team since Villa Joseph Marie (2000-02) to three-peat, winning an astonishing 67 games during that stretch.
On top of it all: Two days after clinching the title, Peters Township found out in the middle of the day Monday that it was the top-ranked high school girls soccer team in the country, according to MaxPreps.com.
Suffice to say, there was some excitement at school.
“It’s hard to believe,” Franty said. “Whenever it first came out, all of us were running through the halls; we couldn’t believe it. It was so nice to see that our hard work hard paid off. With a ranking like that, it’s really impressive.”
Handling expectations: Peters Township returned nearly every player from last year’s state title-winning team, including a pair of Division I recruits in Veronica Latsko (Virginia) and Olivia Roberson (Duquesne).
Early on, the Indians were pegged as the team to beat, which immediately turned the pressure up a few notches.
“I feel like we were under a lot of pressure, just because of what we’ve done in previous years,” Franty said. “On the other hand, with the ability that we had this year, we knew that we could do it; we just had to put the work in.”
Of course, high-pressure, playoff soccer is nothing new to Peters Township, which has won 21 of 22 WPIAL and PIAA playoff games the past three seasons.
‘We’ll be OK’: Franty, who scored 14 goals, was Peters Township’s third offensive option this season behind Latsko and Roberson, who each had 38 goals.
Next season, Franty and Latsko return, giving the Indians yet another formidable duo up top. And they will also get goalkeeper Megan Parker back from a season-ending knee injury, allowing Carly Johns to move to a more natural position.
“This year we had a lot of really great seniors, but Megan Parker will be returning next year,” Franty said. “She’s just phenomenal. Carly Johns will be back on the field, and we have a lot of sophomores, who, I really feel like, can step up. They’ve seen the past two years, what the expectation is in our program, and I really do believe that we’ll be OK and be successful even though we’re losing such a valuable group of seniors.”
Other interests: Franty plays club soccer with Century United, but she doesn’t play any other sports, though ironically the one thing she’s always wanted to play isn’t a sport; Franty has always wanted to learn how to play the piano.
“I’ve always had so much respect for people who can play a musical instrument,” Franty said. “I just think it’s the coolest thing. I wish I was more talented in the arts.”
– Compiled by Jason Mackey