Daily News spotlight athletes: McKeesport's Katie Strom, South Allegheny's Colt Zappa
School: South Allegheny
Claim to fame: Zappa scored a hat trick in a 7-1 nonsection victory over Steel Valley and scored the only goal in a must-win for the Gladiators against Greensburg Central Catholic last week. The junior has scored 10 goals and has helped lead the playoff-bound Gladiators to a 10-4-2 record.
“I expected him to do very well this year,” coach Dean Vickers said. “I just wasn't expecting so many goals. He has contributed a lot this season. He was a defender for us last year, and he's done well for us on offense this year. He has a great shot and moves off the ball very well. He works very well with Jake Thieret up top.”
How was the move from defense to offense?
It was a pretty smooth transition because I played offense most of my life.
Do you like stopping a team from scoring or scoring a goal yourself more?
It's good to help the team with stops and everything, but you have to love scoring just because it gets the adrenaline flowing a little more.
What do you have to do for the playoffs to be a success?
I think our goal is to win two games and to make it to states. I think we just have to stick together as a team and play to our full potential.
Do you have a favorite player or team?
I like Mario Balotelli and AC Milan. His hair is pretty cool, and he's just a beast and a lot of fun to watch.
Is there a team that you do not like?
I don't really like Barcelona and Lionel Messi too much. I don't know why really. I think because they get all the attention.
Do you have a favorite soccer memory?
On Saturday, we played GCC and we had to win to make the playoffs, and I scored the only goal halfway through the second half. That was a great game. Also, last year we beat them and stopped their streak. Katie Strohm
Claim to fame: Strohm scored four goals in a 5-0 win over Albert Gallatin in Section 4-AAA play last week and added another from the penalty spot against Keystone Oaks in a 4-3 Tigers victory Monday night. The sophomore has scored 18 goals this season.
“Katie is our sole Cup player so we had a lot of high expectations for her coming into this season,” coach Natasha Johnston said. “She plays Cup for the same program I coach in, so I knew her from that and knew she was very skilled. I was excited to have her on the team. She's always positive is always supportive of the players that are learning. She took on a mentor role with some of the girls this year. She has a lot of knowledge about the game.”
How do you feel about this season as a whole?
I think it's been a success for the entire team, especially considering our record last year (2-15-1). We've improved just by winning six games this year since we only won one or two last year. The whole team has improved on its skill and aggressiveness.
What do you want to improve on for next season?
I'd like to improve on helping the girls on the team a little more and try and focus on what the other girls on the team are doing.
How did you get into soccer?
I started when I was 4 at the Wilmerding YMCA. My parents signed me up so I had an outlet for all of my energy. I've been playing ever since. I started playing Cup with Penns Forest when I was 9 because I wanted to get serious about soccer and because I wanted to play at the collegiate level. I also play for the Riverhounds U15 RDA team. I just love playing, regardless of who it's for.
What would you like to do in college?
I would like to go CMU and major in computer and electrical engineering and to continue to play soccer.
— Robert Stinner