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District college teams get local contributions

| Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Magruda of California University of Pennsylvania makes a save. SUBMITTED

Three local female collegiate student-athlete soccer players helped two district college teams return to the postseason in 2012.

Washington & Jefferson College women's soccer senior defender and team captain Hannah Shaner completed her fourth season as a starter.

Shaner helped the Presidents compile a 10-8-1 overall record and 5-1-1 conference mark. She has helped W & J limit its opponents to per-game averages of 8.9 shots and 1.38 goals. The Presidents finished the season by making the conference semifinals.

A graduate of Elizabeth Forward High School, she started 78 of 79 career games. In her first three seasons the team established new single-season records for least amount of goals allowed per season. The 2011 team allowed just 13 goals after yielding 16 and 21 in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

Shaner, a dean's list student majoring in psychology, earned all-conference honors last season and has served as President of the Presidents' Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee since the 2010-11 academic year.

The committee exists to streamline and promote efficient communication between member schools and their student-athlete population. It also actively encourages more involvement of the student-athletes in campus and community projects.

The Presidents finished with a 14-4-1 record in 2011 and won the PAC regular season title for the first time after going unbeaten in conference play with an 8-0-1. Washington & Jefferson set a new school record with a 13-game unbeaten streak (12-0-1) during the 2011 season.

In 2010 Washington & Jefferson compiled a final overall record of 14-6-1 and won a second-consecutive conference title before losing to Illinois Wesleyan in the opening round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

The team went 12-7-2 her freshman season. During Shaner's four years, Washington & Jefferson compiled finish a 50-25-5 cumulative record with a pair of conference championships:

Fransko finishes

One of just two seniors on California University of Pennsylvania's nationally ranked women's soccer team was Kayla Fransko.

Also a senior defender like Shaner, Fransko is a native of Monongahela and a graduate of Ringgold High School.

Through the 22-game 2012 season, Fransko scored two goals and was third on the team with 45 shots.

Trailing 1-0 to Edinboro University in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference semifinals, the Vulcans tied the score at the 21:17 mark when Fransko scored an unassisted goal after her corner kick deflected off the crossbar. California went on to a 2-1 victory before closing the season with losses to Slippery Rock University in both the PSAC championship game and second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Last season, she was selected to the 2011 Daktronics All Atlantic Region second-team and has also been named to the school's Athletic Director Honor Roll every semester. She is also a PSAC Scholar-Athlete.

Fransko was sixth on the team in scoring with two goals and seven assists for 11 points in 2011. She helped the Vulcans compile a 20-1-2 overall record and win the program's first-ever Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship. The Vulcans also reached the NCAA Division II National quarterfinals for the second time in three years. California allowed just 10 goals in 23 games.

In 2010 she scored six goals with one assist and helped the Vulcans reach the championship game of both the conference and NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional.

Also a midfielder, Fransko led the team and was second in the PSAC in assists with nine during her 2009 freshman season. She also scored two goals.

Magruda solid

After backing up an All-American Paula Jackson last season, Belle Vernon Area High School graduate Ashley Magruda was California's starting goalkeeper as a sophomore in 2012.

A transfer from West Virginia University, Magruda finished with a stellar 0.83 goals against average with eight shutouts. Her goals against average was the fourth best in school history. She compiled a 15-5-1 overall with 77 saves.

In 2011 Magruda played in five games and earned a shutout victory over Davis & Elkins (W.Va.) College and made four saves. She was a 2010 redshirt.

A four-year starter at Belle Vernon, she was the team's team captain and first-team All-State performer in 2008. Magruda was a three-time All-WPIAL performer and four-time all-section star. She finished with 45 career scholastic shutouts.

California, ranked 16th in NCAA Division II, finished 16-5-1 overall and 9-2-1 in PSAC play. The Vulcans made their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA post-season tournament in 2012.

At Belle Vernon Area High School, Magruda set the school record for shutouts in a season (13, twice) and in a career (45), and led her teams to sectional championships all four years.

The four-year all-section pick was named to the 2008 Tribune Review Elite 11 All-Area Team.

Bruce Wald is a freelance writer.