Elizabeth Forward grad to be inducted into Gannon Hall of Fame
For Erin Cray Pizzo, playing college-level soccer following her standout high school career at Elizabeth Forward didn't have to mean attending a Division I school.
There was much more to it than that, she insisted.
“I wanted to go and enjoy the sport I really liked. I didn't want it to be a job,” said Cray Pizzo, who will be inducted into the Gannon University Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 1.
Cray Pizzo, who is among nine new inductees, graduated from Gannon in 2001 as the all-time leader in goals (34), assists (22) and points (90) in women's soccer at the Erie-based NCAA Division II school, records that stood for a number of years before being broken.
After considering such Division I schools as Air Force, Dayton and Utah, Cray Pizzo left Elizabeth Forward having scored a total of 130 goals during her high school career and decided on Gannon, where she also received a masters degree in education in 2006.
She teaches in the Millcreek Township School District in Erie County while working on a doctorate degree in education from Liberty University.
“I feel very lucky to have enjoyed the experience at Gannon,” Cray Pizzo said. “It definitely shaped me into who I am today. I really learned how to step up my competitive drive, and I really appreciate the opportunity to have been able to do that.”
A four-time all-section, three-time all-WPIAL, two-time all-state and one-time high school All-American at Elizabeth Forward, Cray Pizzo earned all-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference recognition three times during a four-year college career.
She also was named to an all-Division II regional team as a sophomore in 1998.
The former forward continues to own two of the school's top-6 single-season goals totals and two of the top-7 points totals.
“My thoughts at the time about going Division I was I'd probably sit a year before I could play,” Cray Pizzo said. “I didn't want to go to college and sit. I kind of knew where my skill set was, and Gannon was the perfect place to be.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.