Westmoreland athletes of the week: Hempfield's Jared Gerger, GCC's Sara Orndoff
Claim to fame: Gerger, who has six goals and four assists this season, recorded a goal and an assist to lead Hempfield (4-0) to a 5-2 win over Hampton on Oct. 23.
“We are a deep team this year. We rely on the second and third lines this year,” Gerger said.
What has been the key to the team's early-season success?
My linemates, Dominic Schimizzi and Kane Mills, have been the reason for the success. They are always in the right spots to get the goals or passing it to me in the right spots.
What does the team need to do to get to the Penguins Cup championship after losing in the semifinals three of the last four years?
We need to stay calm and play hard every period and don't take a period off. We can't let our record get ahead of us.
What did you work on during the offseason?
I worked on my strength and speed in the rink.
How would describe your style of play?
I would say I'm fast and strong on the puck.
What is your favorite thing about hockey compared to any other sport?
The people in it and the friends you make. Also, the experiences you have with the people you meet.
School: Greensburg Central Catholic
Claim to fame: Orndoff, who has 16 goals and 11 assists this season, scored two goals to lead No. 3 Greensburg Central Catholic (14-3) to a 7-1 win over Eden Christian in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs Oct. 23. Orndoff tallied the assist in a 1-0 win over Vincentian Academy in the quarterfinals Oct. 26.
“I feel like our team is improving as we go through the playoffs,” she said. “I think we are going to have a lot of nerves in the finals. Only four or five of us has been to a WPIAL final. We are trying to calm down everyone and let them know just to play our game.”
What does the team need to do against Shady Side Academy to win the championship?
Our offense is very technically skilled, and if we work the ball in the middle and on the ground we should do well. We need to win the battles in the middle of the field. That will determine the winner of the game.
Last year, you lost to Shady Side Academy in the WPIAL championship and PIAA semifinals; how much are you using that as motivation?
It's extra motivation. Last year, we beat them during the season twice. Now, it's the other way around, and we want to get revenge against them.
What did the team take out of the back-to-back losses to Serra Catholic and Shady Side Academy in early October?
When you lose together as a team it brings you together. With our loss against Shady Side Academy, we learned what we did wrong so we can fix our mistakes and so we don't make the same mistakes again.
How has the team adjusted to first-year coach Ashley Davis?
As a team, we love our new coach. She is good with the girls. It's great that we have a new team with a new coach. This year, different girls are scoring goals. We have different girls that are dangerous all over the field.
What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween is my favorite since it's my birthday, as well.
— Andrew John