TribLIVE Sports Videos
Claim to fame: In his first full season with Serra Catholic, Mercea scored 21 goals and helped the Eagles to a playoff berth with an 8-8 record. The senior has netted 10 goals this season, including a hat trick in an 8-0 trouncing of Section 1-A rival Jeannette last week.
Who is your toughest opponent this season?
I'd say Greensburg Central Catholic. They've always been the toughest team in our section. They've won the section six or seven seasons in a row. We've come close to beating them and winning the section, so hopefully this year will be the year.
What would winning the section or a championship mean to you?
It would mean everything to me. We made the playoffs last year and played the top seed, Neshannock, and lost in the first round, 4-1. I've been working my whole life for this. All this hard work is starting to pay off. Hopefully, we can go further. I think we can, as long as we stay focused.
Do you have a favorite team or player?
My favorite player is Xavi from Barcelona. He's not as recognized as Lionel Messi, but I definitely respect him as a player. He distributes the ball really well. It used to be Chelsea and Drogba, but now I'd say it's Barcelona.
Do you have any college plans?
Honestly, I'm not sure yet. I'm hoping to start figuring things out soon. I've got some coaches coming to look at me. I'd like to go to a Division II or maybe a smaller Division I school. I'm playing for Beadling as well, so hopefully that will get me some looks. We have a lot of tournaments and things like that. I'd like to go for something science related. I really enjoy psychology, but I'm not sure I'm going to take it. I'm trying to figure out what I will enjoy the most.
What's your favorite subject in school?
Psychology. I just find it interesting and important. You can use it every day, in sports, in everything, really. The psychological part of the game is important, too. You have to have the right mindset.
What's your favorite movie?
I'd say the Bourne Trilogy because I just really respect Matt Damon as an actor, and they're really well-made. There's a lot of action in them.
Claim to fame: Ponitz led the Cougars with 15 goals last season and helped them into the playoffs. Coming off a hat trick in a 12-0 win against Section 1-AA opponent Derry last week, the sophomore can be a leader again this season, head coach Dann Appolonia said.
“She's one of our main offensive weapons, and we expect her to be a leader in scoring,” Appolonia said. “She has great ball skills and is good in tight areas. Some girls need a lot of room or just kick it out in front and try to run to it. Hannah has the foot skills to beat players in close. She can score with both feet, too.”
What are you goals for this upcoming season?
Obviously, we want to win the section and hopefully go further in the playoffs than we did last year. We lost in the first round to Knoch, 5-0. I'd also like to score more goals than last year. On Monday of last week against Derry I got hit in the back of the head with a ball and got a concussion. I'm getting over it now, so I hope to be back soon.
After leading the team in scoring, do you feel like a leader coming into this season, even as a sophomore?
Sometimes, I do. I try and lead by setting a good example on the field, and I give direction to other players to help create opportunities for the team.
How long have you been playing soccer?
I've been playing probably since I was 5 or 6. It's definitely my favorite sport. I actually didn't choose to start playing. My mom decided to put me in. I played for Norwin when I was little. She put me with her best friend's daughter, and we played together. I've been playing ever since.
What is your favorite movie?
“She's the Man,” because it's about soccer and it's really funny.
What's your favorite subject in school?
I'd have to say math. I like solving equations.
How did you develop your weaker foot?
I think I might be left-footed as well. It's become a lot stronger over the years. I play Cup soccer as well, and I've done a lot of private training with my coach. He's really helped me develop both feet.
Are there any players that you look up to?
I look up to Alex Morgan because she's also an offensive player, and she's really aggressive and she knows the game really well.
— Robert Stinner
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt senior Weatherspoon’s work ethic second to none
- WPIAL champions wall unveiled at Heinz Field
- NFL notebook: Manning fined for taunting Texans safety
- DEP finally releases full list of wells ruined via gas drilling
- Not to be left behind, speedy Steelers are on the fast track in NFL
- Rock removal prompts lane closure on Rt. 51
- Pirates’ Cole growing in 1st full season
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Carnegie on-ramp to I-376 to close Friday
- Feds approve compromise on Corbett’s alternative Medicaid plan
- Chicago officer accused of putting gun in suspect’s mouth