Excellence at the next level
The Pitt-Greensburg soccer players, coaches and fans know all about Ashley Lucas and the players, coaches and fans in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference are finding out fast about the freshman forward.
Lucas, an Easton grad, has scored 13 goals with six assists for 36 points with five game-winners to help the Bobcats open with a 9-0 overall record and a 2-0 league mark. The goals, points and game-winners lead the AMCC. She was named the league’s offensive player of the week on Sept. 23 giving her back-to-back honors. And, she’s quickly moving up in all those categories on the NCAA Division III level.
“Ashley has been spectacular,” coach Chuck Wigle said. “She has the best shot of any player I’ve ever coached and because of that, she’s dangerous every time she has the ball, especially from 30 yards and in.”
The coach feels that Lucas’ ability to hit free kicks has added a new dimension to the team.
“She’s scored three of them, two from 35 to 40 plus yards,” Wigle said. “Her experience has made her a very smart player and her work rate and effort has helped her excel.”
Michael Ruisch – Susquehanna (Parkland): The 6foot-2, 177-pound sophomore tossed five touchdown passes to lead the 3-1 football team to a 42-13 Centennial Conference victory over Franklin & Marshall last Saturday in Selinsgrove. His TD passes were for 66, 47, 24, 15 and 3 yards. He was 19-for-27 for 271 yards and no interceptions. He also carried the ball six times for 26 yards. On the season, Ruisch has connected on 85 passes on 135 attempts for 1,094 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Madison Orobono – North Carolina (Emmaus): The sophomore has started all nine games on defense for the No. 1-ranked field hockey team. The Tar Heels are 9-0 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference after blanking Virginia 5-0 in a league game last Friday in Charlottesville, Va., and topping James Madison 9-0 in a nonleague game last Sunday in Harrisonburg, Va.
Orobono has a defensive save and she leads the team in minutes played with 508 and has played five complete games.
De’vante Cross – Virginia (Parkland): The 6-foot-2, 210pound junior is starting at free safety for the Cavaliers, who are 4-1 after a 35-20 loss at Notre Dame last Saturday. Cross had five tackles against the Fighting Irish and had a season-high nine tackles in a 31-24 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over visiting Florida State on Sept. 14. Cross has nine solo tackles and 14 assists for a total of 23 on the season. He entered this season having played 26 games with one start.
Olivia Sahaydak – Duke (Liberty): The 5-foot-7 sophomore forward scored in the second quarter and it was the only goal in the game as No. 2-ranked Duke (8-1) toppled No. 15 Stanford 1-0 last Sunday in Durham, N.C. It was her fourth goal of the season. She opened the year by scoring two goals in a 4-1 triumph over then No. 9-ranked Penn State on Aug. 30 in Durham. Sahaydak scored 10 goals for 20 points in 22 games for the Blue Devils as a freshman.
Grace Royer – Cornell (Parkland): The 5-foot-7 junior forward is on a roll with the field hockey team. She leads the Big Red with four goals and two assists and is the team’s top scorer with 10 points. She had two goals, including the game winner, in a 4-1 nonleague victory over Lafayette on Sept. 23 in Ithaca, N.Y., and the team’s only two goals in a 5-2 Ivy League loss to Penn last Saturday in Philadelphia, dropping Cornell to 3-2 on the season. Royer had six goals and two assists in 17 starts last season.
Claire Nielson – West Chester (Emmaus): The 5foot-6 freshman goalkeeper was named PSAC defensive player of the week (Sept. 24) and National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division II Athlete of the Week (Sept. 25) for posting a pair of shutouts for the field hockey team the previous week – 1-0 over Shippensburg and 5-0 over Indiana. She’s 5-0 and has given up three goals with 10 saves. Sophomore Emily Ingalls (Emmaus) has started all six games on defense for the Golden Rams.