Daily News Spotlight Athletes: East Allegheny's Vinny Barone, South Allegheny's Amber Brownfield
School: East Allegheny
Claim to fame: Barone has scored 63 goals in his WPIAL career. He's already recorded a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Jeannette in the season opener. The junior netted 31 goals as a freshman and 28 last year. He has four in three games this year.
When did you start playing soccer?
I think I was 3 or 4 when I first went to kinder kickers. It was the first sport I ever tried and I'm still playing it now. I think I like it.
Is soccer your favorite sport?
Definitely. I think because it just keeps you in such great shape. Plus, I like how the game can go from slow and boring to fast-paced really quickly. I just enjoy running.
Who is your favorite player or team?
My favorite team is Newcastle United. My favorite player is either Cristiano Ronaldo or Demba Ba. I like Ba because ever since Joey Barton and Andy Carroll left Newcastle he's come out and become the star and leader of the team. He just scores amazing goals. Plus, he's a forward like me.
To what do you attribute the success you've had so far?
I think it's a little bit of ability, but there's always room for improvement. I work hard and I always want to improve. That's what makes it fun.
What are your goals for this season?
We were in a play-in game last season against Elizabeth Forward, which we lost, 3-2. For the team, it's definitely to get back into the playoffs and hopefully go beyond the first round. For myself, I'd like to get 30 goals again. I'm going to start focusing on college more now as well.
What are your college plans?
I definitely want to go to a Division I school. I have a lot of options right now. I'd like to go to school for physical therapy.
Who is your favorite musician or band?
Wiz Khalifa or Mac Miller, because they're from Pittsburgh. I listen to them before every game.
School: South Allegheny
Claim to fame: Brownfield scored eight goals in the first three games of her high school career, including a hat trick in a 10-0 trouncing of Section 2-A opponent Monessen last week.
“We expect her to be a scoring threat,” coach Jesse MacPherson said. “She's very skilled and is good at anticipating where she should go. She gets into good positions and is very determined. She fights for every inch.”
How long have you played soccer?
I've played since I was 5. I brought the sign-up paper home and told my mom I really wanted to play, and I've been playing ever since. It's definitely my favorite sport. It's a great way to bond with your teammates. We have a lot of fun. I'm also really competitive, so I like to play against other competitive teams. I like to push myself to do better.
What are your expectations for this season?
I expect to break the goal-scoring record set last year. It's 25 goals. I expect to score a lot. I want to impress people.
What are the team's goals?
We want to make it to the playoffs and hopefully win a championship. Some of the teams are tough. Serra is a tough team, and we have a good rivalry with them. We lost 1-0 to them last year, but we plan on beating them this year.
Are you nervous at all about replacing a 25-goal scorer (Jill Brady)?
Well, I am confident. I'm confident of scoring goals. Hopefully, it all pans out.
What's your favorite subject in school?
I'm really good at science. I'm taking honors science. I'm also good at math and am taking geometry. I've been in all honors math classes. I really like math, as well.
Who is your favorite soccer player?
I look up to Alex Morgan. She plays the same position as me and scores a lot, so I want to be like her. I just started watching her in the Olympics.
Do you play for any other soccer teams?
I've played Cup soccer for five years. I started with Penns Forest but switched to Foothills. I've been playing for them for two or three years. I like playing Cup because it's a little bit more competitive, but most of my friends are here.