Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Penn-Trafford's Galen Kreutzberger, Latrobe's Allison LaDuke
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Claim to fame: Kreutzberger scored on a penalty kick to lead Penn-Trafford (2-1-1, 1-1) to a 1-0 victory over Hempfield in Section 1-AAA action Thursday. Kreutzberger has registered four of the six goals for Penn-Trafford this season, including a two-goal game against Shaler on Aug. 30.
“He's a very good leader for us. He has a good soccer sense,” coach Jeff Nese said. “He understands it from the offensive and defensive sides. He's a hard worker and good role model. He leads by example and is one of the reasons why he was named team captain as a junior.”
What does it mean to you be named a team captain as a junior?
To me, it meant a lot. We have a good program, and I'm glad to see I can help the younger kids. I enjoy helping with building the program and getting the younger kids into soccer at Penn-Trafford and in general. I enjoy the responsibility.
After a tough season last year, what are your goals for this season?
One of the things we wanted to do is beat Kiski, Franklin and Norwin just once and get into the playoffs. We just wanted to have a strong and positive season.
What did you learn that you can pass along to the younger players?
There are never any free games. You need to earn and play every game like it's your last. You just have to leave it all on the field and enjoy it like it's the last.
What pro soccer players do you look up to?
Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney. They both have a strong work ethic and when they score they are so excited and makes me want to look up to them.
What has been the best advice first-year coach Jeff Nese has given you?
He has told us just to keep working through it all, especially some of the bumps. It will all come together and the team chemistry will be there.
Claim to fame: LaDuke has four goals, including two on penalty kicks, in leading Latrobe to a 3-0-1 overall record. She scored on a penalty kick in the second overtime of a 2-1 win over Belle Vernon in nonsection play Thursday. She also registered a goal each in a nonsection win over Southmoreland and 2-2 tie against Franklin Regional. The central midfielder has been named team MVP since her freshman year.
“Personally, it's not as a big deal as how strong my team is playing right now,” LaDuke said. “With our start this season, I'm very optimistic on how things will go for the rest of the season.”
What are your college plans?
I don't have any plans set in stone yet, but I know I want to major in physical therapy or be a physician's assistant and to play soccer. I'm looking at St. Francis (Pa.), Walsh, Findlay and Duquesne. After getting physical therapy and seeing a lot of my teammates from soccer and track rehab, it just interested me on how the body works and heals. Getting to know the process better would be nice.
What were your team goals?
We got a new team in our section in Franklin Regional last year. We lost a couple of overtime and close games last season. This year's goal was to get back at those teams we lost to and win some of the close games. Hopefully, we make the playoffs this season.
Which sport do you like the most, soccer or track?
I definitely like soccer just because it's more of a team sport. Track is more of an individual sport where you have to push yourself. Soccer requires just as much running, but you work more as a team and don't need to rely as much on your own.
What has been the best piece of advice you have received?
To make the most of every opportunity you are presented because you have only one shot at everything. There are no second chances.
When you graduate, how do you want to be remembered?
In soccer, I just want to be remembered as someone who was fun to be around and to play with. Also, I want to be remembered as someone who was always optimistic and encouraging teammates to be the best they can be.
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