Ed Phillipps | Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Peters Township star forward Hannah Stuck was hobbled by an injury earlier this year and missed preseason activities. Her coach, Pat Vereb, said that she has rounded into form and back in soccer shape.
The rest of Class 4A may want to look out, because what Stuck and the Indians have done at less than 100% is already quite impressive.
Through Sunday, Peters Township was 12-1-1 and Stuck, a Bucknell recruit and Post-Gazette All-Area player two years running, had netted a team-best 17 goals to go with 14 assists.
Stuck has stepped into the lead-scoring role after having a running mate in Regan LaVigna the past few seasons. LaVigna now plays at Youngstown State.
Stardom runs in the family for Stuck. She is the daughter of the former Becky Guna, who is one of Peters Township’s all-time leading scorers with 102 career goals.
If the Indians were going to have a top player suffer an injury, it’s better for it to happen at the beginning of the season than in the postseason. They know that from experience. Last year, Peters Township lost in the WPIAL championship match, 2-1, in overtime to Seneca Valley. A foot injury kept LaVigna, the team’s leading scorer, out of that razor-close match.
Aside from Stuck, there are numerous players from that team who are back this year. Peters Township returned eight starters in all.
“We bring back a lot of experience from last year’s team,” said Vereb. “They made a pretty far run to the WPIAL and state playoffs. That helps us.”
Rachel Raber, Kaila McFerran and Mia Gentile are all four-year starters. Sophomore forward Jillian Marvin also returns and has grown into a solid contributor to the offense with five goals and six assists. Sophomore midfielder CeCe Scott is another young talent who has committed to Michigan State and has five goals and five assists.
Vereb said his squad has been working to put teams away. The offense is not quite as potent as it was last year with both Stuck and LaVigna, but they have proven to be just as effective at producing victories.
“It’s definitely more spread out,” said Vereb. “Regan and Hannah brought a lot of physicality and things for our opponents to deal with. We’re pretty much scoring team-oriented goals as opposed to relying on a couple of people.”
The defensive unit has done a good job of keeping games close. The Indians have won four games by a single goal and goal keeper Emma Sawich has helped the Indians put together six shutouts.