Monday, March 15, 2021 | 1:01 pm
Christopher Horner | Tribune review
Mars’ Aly Cooper battles Jamie Seneca of Plum for possession during the WPIAL Class 3A championship game on Saturday November 7, 2020 in North Allegheny.
Adam McQuaide | Mon Valley Independent
Gina Proviano of Plum owns the ball in a quarterfinals of WPIAL class 3A against Thomas Jefferson on Thursday October 29th, 2020.
The Plum Girls’ soccer coach Jamie Stewart knew he was going to lose another strong senior class at the end of the 2020 season that had achieved a lot on and off the field.
The senior group ended at home with 32: 5: 1 and in four seasons with 58: 16: 1.
The Mustangs won consecutive titles in the section and made it to consecutive WPIAL Class 5A title games.
The 2019 squad went to the playoffs for the first time in school history.
From this past season, some of these seniors were hailed when they decided to attend Division I or II schools to continue their career as players.
“It is certainly humbling to be able to coach such a talented group of young women,” said Stewart.
“I’m really looking forward to those who are able to take football to the next step and play at the various colleges and universities. Your hard work and perseverance over the years has really paid off in what they want to do. “
Gina Proviano, 2020 Football Player of the Year for Valley News Dispatch Girls, made her decision late last month as she will play in Division I on Long Island in the Northeast Conference.
Senior striker Jamie Seneca will join the women’s team at Gannon, midfielder Carly O’Connell will continue to play at Edinboro and fellow defenders Abby Lewis and Andrea D’Inau have signed letters of intent to play for IUP.
Proviano scored 70 goals and added 33 assists in four years as one of the best soccer players in the WPIAL.
“I love Plum and I loved playing football here,” said Proviano. “The last four years have been amazing, especially the last two. We made history. I know the girls will be back next year. “
The decision was entirely fitting for Proviano, who said she liked the emerging women’s football program combined with her chosen cardiovascular profusionist degree, an important part of an operating room for major heart surgery.
“I looked at the program there and as soon as that was the offer I knew I wanted to go there. Academics come first, ”she said.
When Proviano was exploring the LIU women’s soccer team, she said she knew she could make a difference there and help the team move up in the NEC.
Seneca is hoping to continue her attacking skills at Gannon after scoring 14 goals and adding nine assists last fall.
Proviano, Seneca, D’Incau, Lewis and O’Connell, along with senior colleagues Samantha Stewart, Erica Taylor and Kelly Kvortek, helped the Mustangs, in a season full of ups and downs, 16-1 in the general standings and 12-0 in section 3 3A to end lows and uncertainties amid the covid pandemic.
“That’s the hard part about coaching college sports where you come to the end of your career and keep going,” said Stewart.
“You connect with the players and it’s sad to see them go. We close one year and then start the next, but we never forget their accomplishments and contributions. We’re also excited to see what they can do in their college careers. It’s a bit bittersweet when you look at it that way. “
Plum prevailed against his opponents 93: 6 in his 17 games and prevailed 11: 0 against the first three playoff opponents – Gateway, Thomas Jefferson and West Allegheny.
The Mustangs went head to toe with Mars in the WPIAL championship game at North Allegheny. A penalty was the difference in the planets’ 1-0 victory.
“The seniors, all of them, are a great example of leadership not just for freshmen, undergraduates, and juniors, but also for the younger children going through the youth program,” said Stewart. “The younger kids see where these seniors are going, and it gives them something to strive for.”
Michael Love is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.