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Pittsburgh Trib athlete of the week: Baldwin's Austin Vertullo, Elizabeth Forward's Rachel Collage

Submitted - Baldwin's Austin Vertullo
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Baldwin's Austin Vertullo
Submitted - Elizabeth Forward's Rachel Collage
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Elizabeth Forward's Rachel Collage

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Top high school sports
By Brian Graham
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Austin Vertullo

School: Baldwin

Class: Junior

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: Vertullo netted a hat trick to help the Highlanders cruise to a 8-0 Section 4-AAA win over Albert Gallatin on Sept. 26 and had one goal in a 2-2 tie with Mt. Lebanon on Sept. 27. Vertullo — who has 14 goals this year — scored four times when Baldwin topped McKeesport, 6-1, on Sept. 3.

What do you attribute your success to this year?

I've just been training hard and working with the team. We play a lot of through balls over the top, which means we send the ball over the defense, and I just get under it and attack (the net).

How difficult was it to recover from breaking your leg at the end of last year?

It was hard, and I was pretty nervous. I just started playing through it.

Can Baldwin make a playoff push?

I hope so. We're going to give it our all. We had a players' meeting and we all just said it's all or nothing. It's now or never.

Rachel Collage

School: Elizabeth Forward

Class: Senior

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: Collage, a Fordham recruit and 2012 All-WPIAL selection, has scored 13 goals and dished out seven assists to help the Warriors to a 7-3-3 record overall and 4-2-2 in Section 4-AA. Collage scores when it counts, including netting the game-winner in a 1-0 overtime win over Penn-Trafford.

Why did you select Fordham?

I wanted an urban school in the city. It's right in the Bronx and I definitely like that. The campus is awesome.

Do you have a major in mind?

I'm thinking pre-engineering and physics. That obviously might change, but that's what I'm thinking now.

— Brian Graham

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