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Female athletes lead the way at local colleges

Two local female collegiate student-athlete soccer players concluded the 2011 season with individual post-season recognition while a women's swimmer continues to make an impact.

Washington and Jefferson College women's soccer player Holly Shaner earned second-team All Presidents' Athletic Conference honors this past season.

A graduate of Elizabeth Forward High School and junior defender, Shaner led a Presidents' defense that allowed a school-record low 13 goals this season, breaking the mark of 16 set last year.

Aided by Shaner, W&J has set a new record-low for goals conceded in all three of Shaner's seasons in Washington. During her career, she has played in 61 games, including 60 starts, tallying one goal and two assists.

The Presidents finished with a 14-4-1 record and won the PAC regular season title for the first time after going unbeaten in conference play with an 8-0-1. Washington and Jefferson set a new school record with a 13-game unbeaten streak (12-0-1) that spanned from September 19-October 29.

Also a quality student, Shaner serves as president of the 2011-12 Presidents' Athletic Conference student-athlete advisory committee.

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.

Fransko at Cal

California University of Pennsylvania junior defender Kayla Fransko was selected to the 2011 Daktronics All Atlantic Region second-team. The all-region teams are voted on by the NCAA Division II members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.

A Ringgold High School graduate and native of Monongahela, Fransko helped anchor one of the premier defensive units in NCAA Division II this past season.

During the 23-game season, the Vulcans have allowed only 10 goals, which ranked as the sixth-fewest total in the country.

Fransko was sixth on the team in scoring with two goals and seven assists. She helped California 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.

Versatile, Fransko has also played midfield for the Vulcans and has 10 career goals and 17 assists. She led the team and was second in the conference in assists with nine during her 2009 freshman season. Fransko has also been named to the university's athletic director honor roll every semester and is also a conference scholar-athlete.

During Fransko's first three seasons, California has compiled a 57-8-7 cumulative record.

Weeks makes splash

Ringgold High School graduate Sarah Weeks continues to make a solid contribution for Edinboro University of Pennsylvania's women's swimming team.

A sophomore butterfly and freestyle competitor, Weeks won the 200-yard freestyle in Edinboro's 99-32 dual meet victory over Malone and added a victory in the 100 butterfly in a 106-99 triumph over conference rival Shippensburg.

She finished 11th at the College of Wooster Invitational in the 100 butterfly and helped Edinboro win the team title.

The Fighting Scots are 2-1 in dual meets and travel to Fredonia State University on Jan. 20.

Last season Weeks qualified for the PSAC Championship in the 200 butterfly and won the 500 freestyle in a Fighting Scots victory at Penn State-Behrend.

This year's conference women's swimming championships will be on Feb. 9 at Mechanicsburg.

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