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BVA's Kovalchuk on all-state team

Jim Ference | Valley Independent - Belle Vernon's #29 Lauren Kovalchuk.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Jim Ference  |  Valley Independent</em></div>Belle Vernon's #29 Lauren Kovalchuk.
- Lauren Kovalchuk
Lauren Kovalchuk

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Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

It's no secret that Belle Vernon Area's Lauren Kovalchuk was a key performer for the successful Lady Leps team.

A two-year captain, she was a top scorer and a leader on the field for coach Paul Sasko.

Kovalchuk's importance and efforts earned her a spot on the PA Soccer Coaches Association All-State Team.

She was one of only 10 WPIAL players to make the team.

“She is very deserving of being named all-state,” said Sasko. “I was really hoping she would make all-state because she had a tremendous season.”

A midfielder, she scored 17 goals and had 13 assists this season and finished her career with 56 goals and 35 assists. She helped lead BVA to a WPIAL Class AA semifinal appearance, as well as the first PIAA berth in the school's history.

She was selected “Newcomer of the Year” her freshman year with nine goals and six assists.

Kovalchuk was also named All-WPIAL this season and received All-Section honors as a sophomore and a junior.

A four-year letterman and three-year starter for BVA, she also saw spot duty as a starter as a freshman on a very strong BVA AAA section champion team.

Kovalchuk is the third Lady Lep to be named all-state, following Ashley Magruda (now playing at California University) and Cori Stark (Youngstown State).

She has verbally committed to attend college at Stony Brook University in Long Island N.Y., a Division I school for women's soccer.

Outside of scholastic soccer she has been a member of the Olympic Development Program for five years and was a member of the 2012 ODP Region 1 Tournament champion team.

She is the daughter of Chris and Lara Kovalchuk of Rostraver Township.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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