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Perez, Crouse named Greensburg Trib soccer players of the year

| Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

2013 soccer players of the year

Jeremy Perez | senior, forward, ringgold

Jeremy Perez more than validated his coach's desire to move him from the midfield to forward as a senior after the graduation of Nick Cichon, last year's Tribune-Review Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Perez scored a school-record 29 goals and picked up about every honor possible: section player of the year, All-WPIAL and all-state.

Also, of course: Tribune-Review Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

His steady scoring helped Ringgold to the playoffs in Class AAA, a classification the Rams moved into to start the 2012-13 season and promptly won the Section 3-AAA title.

Prior to that, Ringgold dominated Class AA.

Jeremy's dad, Frank, coaches Ringgold's boys soccer team, and it created a laundry list of memories that neither will forget.

But, when deciding how to replace Cichon, it created an awkward moment.

“It's always tough as a father,” Frank Perez said during the season. “You don't want to put your son in the limelight if he's not deserving.”

Not to worry.

Jeremy Perez was certainly deserving and proved as much by carrying Ringgold's offense.

A highly skilled player who's also able to create space for himself, Perez will choose between Robert Morris, Seton Hill and Waynesburg.

What was it like playing for your dad?

Playing for my dad has always been a great experience. He's been my coach since I was young. He's taught me everything I know. It's definitely an experience through the good and the bad. He pushes me to be the best, and it shows.

What's it say about your team to again be competitive in Class AAA?

It means everything, honestly. It means that we, as a high school, are competing and producing players who can compete at high levels such as Class AAA. That means a lot. It's Ringgold Ram pride.

How did your game evolve this season?

Coming into this season, I knew I had to take it up another level. We lost some great players, and I knew I was going to fill some spots. So, I made it a point to work on the little things, produce and kind of finesse my game.

What are your strengths as a player?

I would have to say that my top two assets as a player — and I've gotten this from other people as well — would have to be my vision, as far as the game goes, and my skills. I can use them in any situation.

What will you miss about high school soccer?

The atmosphere and playing under the lights. There's nothing like that.

If you weren't playing soccer, where would that energy go?

I would either work on my grades a lot more or go fishing, one of the two. I'm a huge fisherman. Any time I'm not on the field, I'm in the Yough River bass fishing. Also walleye. Anything I can get on a hook.

Boys all-star team

Abel Carleton

Beaver C.C., Sr.

Carleton scored in all four of BCC's playoff wins. He had 23 goals, as the Eagles reached the WPIAL championship game and PIAA quarterfinals.

Alex Gedrys

South Fayette, Sr.

Lions GK posted 19 shutouts and a 0.35 goals-against average while leading team to WPIAL final. Will choose between Waynesburg, Seton Hill and Bloomsburg.

Zach Graziani

West Allegheny, Sr.

So good he let the Indians do things few other teams could do — or defend. Two-time all-state. RMU recruit led team to WPIAL title, PIAA final.

Joel Hart

Upper St. Clair, Sr.

Panthers striker scored 37 goals, including seven in the postseason. Also added 14 assists. Will play for American University.

Troye Kiernan

Upper St. Clair, Sr.

Strong defensively and a facilitator, St. Francis (Pa.) recruit totaled 20 goals, eight of them in the playoffs. NSCAA All-American.

Mario Mastrangelo

Peters Township, Jr.

Scored the goal to upset top-ranked team in the state, Upper St. Clair, in WPIAL final. Finished with 20 goals and seven assists.

Nicco Mastrangelo

Peters Township, Jr.

Had 22 goals — five in the postseason — and seven assists for a team that made the WPIAL final for the eighth time in 11 years.

Corey McCurdy

Canon-McMillan, Sr.

One of a few holdovers from the 2012 WPIAL champs, all-state pick sacrificed his stats (five goals, 10 assists) for a more team-first role.

STeve Munn

Sewickley Acad., Sr.

Two-time all-state pick helped Panthers to WPIAL and PIAA titles. Scored 12 goals but bigger role was setting up J.P. Bowell and Anthony Stinson. Had 21 assists.

Brandon Walbert

South Park, Jr.

South Park's offensive key. Two-time all-state pick scored 16 goals and added 24 assists while setting the table for 40-goal scorer Justin Minda.

frannie crouse | Senior, forward, greensburg central catholic

No Pennsylvania player has more career goals than Greensburg Central Catholic's Fran Crouse — 208 of them, including 66 this past season.

Few of those have been prettier than the pair Crouse scored to down Southern Columbia, 2-1, and help the Centurions win a second consecutive PIAA Class A title.

Both displayed Crouse's trademark speed and her ability to separate herself from ... well, just about everyone else.

The prolific forward split a pair of defenders on the first, beating the goalkeeper with a near-post shot.

She chipped a ball ahead to herself on the second, chased it and buried a laser far post.

While trying to remain modest, Crouse said she couldn't believe what she did when she watched the state final weeks later.

“I usually never watch myself play because it's not on film,” Crouse said. “We got a DVD of the game. I watched it twice. I went over my goals, and I don't really realize how fast I am until I watch it.

“I think that's what set me apart in that game.”

And for her career, one that will continue at Penn State University.

Despite the highlight-reel goals, Crouse said she did find a few things to work on from the state final.

Good luck with that, Big Ten opponents.

“I definitely critiqued myself — what I should have done, what I could have done,” said Crouse, who also amassed 92 career assists. “Overall I was really happy with the success I've had over the past four years, and hopefully I'll continue with that.”

Crouse helped GCC complete a four-year run that included a pair of WPIAL titles and the past two state championships.

The Centurions went 81-9-1 during Crouse's career, winning 40 consecutive section games and outscoring opponents, 565-79.

What will you miss about high school soccer?

The players. Definitely the competition. I've played against some great players the past four years, and it's hard to say goodbye to it. But it will be nice going to Penn State and doing something new.

Do you have a favorite memory?

States this year stands out the most for me, just because it was my last game, we pulled out a win, and we won the state championship. I think that's all you could really ask for.

How much did losing in the WPIAL final motivate you?

I don't even know where my silver medal is, to be honest. I tried to put it behind me and say, ‘This is my last loss for high school.' From then on, I thought that I have to win each game. I worked with the team and as hard as I could to get those wins.

Why'd you pick Penn State?

I couldn't see myself there at first, but I had never been on campus. I visited the campus, then as soon as I got there, I was like, ‘This place is where I want to be.' I fit in perfectly. I met with the team, and they were great. The coaches made me feel like I was already a part of the team. I think that's what made it more of my choice than anything else.

If you weren't playing soccer, where would that energy go?

It would have to be a sport. I can't not play a sport. I can't think of what I would be doing, but I would definitely be playing a sport. Probably not basketball. I'm terrible at basketball. I can't shoot. Maybe track. I used to run track, and I liked it a lot. But, of course, soccer takes over.

Girls all-star team

Katie Alexander

Central Valley, Sr.

Watch the WPIAL and PIAA champions, and it's easy to see where the offense starts. Miami (Ohio) recruit totaled 20 goals and 18 assists.

Rachel Collage

Eliz. Forward, Sr.

A defender her first two seasons, Fordham recruit scored 20 goals and added 13 assists this year, her second as an All-WPIAL midfielder.

Malea Fabean

Greensburg C.C., Sr.

Rare member of the 100-100 club with 152 career goals, 117 assists. Pitt recruit played some defense, too, helping GCC to second straight state title.

Amber Fichter

Mars, Sr.

Her 34 goals and 17 assists carried a team that was decimated by injuries. Duquesne recruit finished career with 72 goals and 56 assists.

Kyra Murphy

Canon-McMillan, Jr.

WPIAL's top goalkeeper has 247 saves and 15 shutouts the past two seasons. Duquesne recruit made 16 saves during a playoff upset of Norwin.


Central Valley, Sr.

Emotional leader and defensive backbone of team that went 23-0 and won WPIAL and PIAA titles. Also scored eight goals. Will play for Edinboro.

Hayden PascoE

Belle Vernon, Sr.

Led her team with 28 goals and eight assists. Finished her career with 102 goals. Three-time All-WPIAL selection will play at Kent State.

Sydney Schipani

Moon, Sr.

With Moon hit hard by graduation and injuries, the Akron recruit shifted up top and keyed the offense with 21 goals and five assists.

Maggie Scott

S.S. Academy, Sr.

True scorer led team to WPIAL final upset of Greensburg C.C. Miami (Ohio) recruit finished with 50 goals and 15 assists in 2013. Had 152 markers for career.


Seneca Valley, Jr.

Clutch GK didn't allow a goal in WPIAL playoffs. Five postseason shutouts gave her 12 for the season, 35 for her career. In three years, she's 56-8-3.

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