Westmoreland athletes of the week: GCC's Luke Mort, Belle Vernon's Izzy Laurita
School: Greensburg Central Catholic
Claim to fame: Mort, who has 24 goals this season, scored four times to lead Class A No. 5 Greensburg Central Catholic (9-2) to a 9-0 win over Yough in nonsection action Sept. 28. He scored six times Tuesday in a win over Geibel. “It was a good performance. The team has been coming together,” he said. “We have been working well as team. That's where our biggest success has been coming from. We don't have many numbers, so it's pretty important that we all work hard.”
What do you think the team has learned through close losses to Hempfield and Winchester Thurston?
We just gained experience, since we are a young team with only two seniors. We just need to learn from it and gain some experiences.
How do you think your game has grown through the years?
I think high school soccer is more physical. I have grown stronger on the ball and grown more as a team player.
Who do you look forward to facing each year?
Winchester Thurston since they are ranked higher. We want to beat them at home. But we pretty much look forward to facing anyone in our section.
What is your earliest memory of playing soccer?
Playing cup soccer at 6 years old. I got to play with all my friends. It was a great experience.
What is your favorite subject?
Physics, because you can use that a lot in sports, especially on how it applies to the soccer ball.
School: Belle Vernon
Claim to fame: Laurita, who has 12 goals and 12 assists this season, scored twice to lead Belle Vernon (8-3-1, 6-1-1) to a 6-0 win over Greensburg Salem in Section 2-AAA on Sept. 27. “I have good teammates to help me, and I have a good coaching staff. I think we have a good shot at going far into playoffs,” she said.
How does it feel to have success early in your career?
It feels really good. I feel honored to be with this team and doing very well.
How important was it for you to bounce back with four straight wins after losing two in a row?
It was very good. Our team was going through a hard time, but we bounced back. It was very nice.
What has it been like to play for first-year coach Tom Cameron?
It's going pretty well. He's a very good coach. He has very good points, and we just listen. It helps us improve our game.
How has the senior class aided you?
They just give very good advice. They are very good role models off the field. They don't get down on you if you make a mistake, and that's very helpful.
What is your favorite type of music?
I listen to anything recent or high energy because it gets my blood pumping and ready for games. I just like fun music.