Mike White & Joe Greiner | Post Gazette
Veronica Latsko had an impressive freshman season on the Peters Township soccer team a year ago. She took her game to a higher level this season.
The super sophomore scored more and helped Peters Township win some more. For her efforts, Latsko is the Post-Gazette Player of the Year.
The award takes into consideration all players in the WPIAL and City League. After scoring 33 goals as a freshman, Latsko found the net 45 times as a sophomore. At one point this season, she scored a hat trick in five consecutive games, practically unheard of at the Class AAA level. She was the WPIAL’s second-leading scorer during the regular season.
Latsko, a forward, came through in the clutch also. Although she has 78 career goals, her most memorable came this season when she scored the only goal in Peters Township’s 1-0 victory against Pennridge in the PIAA Class AAA championship match. The goal allowed Peters Township to become the first team from the WPIAL to win back-to-back PIAA titles.
Latsko is part of the Olympic Development Program and plays in national and international events. She is the leader of the Post-Gazette All-Area Team, which is picked by the PG scholastic sports staff, with help from area coaches. Latsko is one of three sophomores on the team.
Here is a look at the other 11 players on the All-Area Team:
Carley Bogan, Upper St. Clair — The Panthers won the WPIAL Class AAA championship and Bogan was one of the driving forces. A junior forward, she led the team in scoring with 22 goals and 20 assists.
Mani Brueckner, Mars — Brueckner was adept at scoring goals, but also was excellent in setting up others for scores. She finished the season with 43 assists after having 41 last year. A senior midfielder, Brueckner had 37 goals this season for the WPIAL and PIAA Class AA champion Planets.
Christie Chiesa, South Park — A senior midfielder, Chiesa is an outstanding, all-around player. She had 15 goals and 10 assists for the WPIAL Class AA finalist Eagles.
Frannie Crouse, Greensburg Central Catholic — Crouse is a scoring machine for the Centurions. She is only a sophomore midfielder, but already has 87 goals. She led the WPIAL in goals this season with 55 after scoring 32 a year ago.
Sierra Davis, South Park — Davis often had a zero tolerance policy for the Eagles. A junior goalkeeper, Davis had 17 shutouts this season for the WPIAL Class AA runner-up. At one point, she had 10 shutouts in a row.
Malea Fabean, Greensburg Central Catholic — Combined with fellow sophomore Frannie Crouse to form the most potent one-two scoring punch in the WPIAL. Fabean had 45 goals for the WPIAL Class AA champs.
Antonia Grese, Moon — Moon had a successful 14-6 season and Grese was one of the main reasons. A junior forward, she was the team’s leading scorer with 18 regular-season goals. The Tigers made it to the WPIAL quarterfinals before losing a tough, 3-2 game to Peters Township.
Liana Leja, South Fayette — Leja is a junior forward, but she already is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer. She was the WPIAL’s fifth-leading scorer during the regular season with 33 goals.
Olivia Roberson, Peters Township — A junior forward, Roberson and Latsko were a dandy one-two scoring punch. Roberson had 25 goals in the regular season and had the assist on the game-winning goal when Peters Township defeated WPIAL champion Upper St. Clair, 1-0, in the PIAA semifinals.
Carly Seneca, Gateway — A junior midfielder, Seneca is a versatile player who made all-state this season. She scored 19 goals and led the Gators to a WPIAL Class AAA playoff berth.
Hannah Zangara, Upper St. Clair — One of the unsung heroes for the Panthers. A multi-talented senior midfielder, Zangara scored two game-winning goals in the playoffs and Upper St. Clair went on to win the WPIAL Class AAA title.