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GCC field hockey team a work in progress

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 10:39 p.m.

“We are a work in progress.”

Those were the first words coach Ruth Ann Wargofchik uttered when speaking about her Greensburg Central Catholic field hockey team.

The Centurions have started with a 3-3 record after going 0-10 last season.

Greensburg Central Catholic defeated Hempfield, 4-2, Sewickley Academy, 5-0, and Aquinas, 3-2, this season.

The Centurions' three losses have come at the hands of two-time defending WPIAL Class AA champion Shady Side Academy, as well as Oakland Catholic and Winchester Thurston.

“Last season, they scored two goals the entire season,” Wargofchik said. “This season, they have played better. The record isn't indicative of the improvement of the girls.”

The first-year coach is trying to go back to basics, instilling the fundamentals of field hockey, as well as working on the players' conditioning.

“We have been working on our conditioning and fundamentals. I don't think that happened a lot before,” Wargofchik said. “Finesse and skill will come but you won't go anywhere or be competitive if you don't do the fundamentals.”

Wargofchik, who was offered the job in 2004, believes doing this will make up for a lack of players. The Centurions have 16 players on the team, but three have been out of the lineup for various reasons. Eleven are needed on the field.

“Everyone has to play since we have only 16 players and one goalie,” Wargofchik said. “Some people need a break after awhile, so it gets pretty hard. For instance, Penn-Trafford has 37 players.”

Wargofchik, who helped start the lacrosse program at Greensburg Central Catholic, is looking to also change the mentality of her players, as it appears in some games they get down on themselves when they are losing a game early.

Seniors Martha Leo and leading scorer Brooke Snyder lead the Centurions. The team also receives contributions from Mariel Ghion, Brianna Jacobs, Hannah Uebele, Maggie Healey and Mary Sauter. The Centurions have senior Katie DiBiase as their netminder.

Wargofchik has also been receiving strong play from freshman Juliette Sauter, the younger sister of Mary.

“She plays the whole floater position for our team,” Wargofchik said.

“She makes things happen, and she knows the game very well.”

Leo is pleased with the addition of Wargofchik and is excited to see the team chemistry is at the top of the coach's list.

“Last season was a pretty rough season. This year, we are happy we can get moral support for us from our coach,” Leo said.

“She has tried to stay positive and help connect the team better this year.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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