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Greensburg Tribune-Review Athletes of the Week: Franklin Regional's Chris Ralph, Belle Vernon's Ashly Gagliardi

- Franklin Regional's Chris Ralph Submitted
Franklin Regional's Chris Ralph Submitted
- Belle Vernon's Ashly Gagliardi Submitted
Belle Vernon's Ashly Gagliardi Submitted

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Andrew John
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

Chris Ralph

School: Franklin Regional

Year: Sophomore

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: Sophomore Chris Ralph earned a shutout with seven saves for Franklin Regional (5-0-1, 4-0) in a 2-0 win over Norwin in Section 1-AAA action Sept. 13. Ralph, who has allowed two goals this season, also made nine saves in a 1-0 win over Penn-Trafford.

“I give a lot of the credit to my teammates,” Ralph said.

What's it like to be a sophomore starting on varsity?

It's a lot different. However, I have played with Olympic Development and Club teams, so it kind of matches.

How does the team stack up in the section?

I think we have a good chance to be the top team.

What was your favorite part of your summer?

I went to a soccer camp at Robert Morris University with my Penn-Trafford friend. I got a lot out of it.

Ashly Gagliardi

School: Belle Vernon

Year: Junior

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: Junior Ashly Gagliardi has recorded five shutouts, including a 14-save effort in a 1-0 win over South Park in Section 4-AA action Sept. 10, snapping the Eagles' 66-game section win streak. Gagliardi has allowed one goal this season for the Leopards (6-0, 3-0).

“Going into the South Park game, I was really nervous,” she said. “We knew we could beat them going into the season.”

What did you work on over the offseason?

I started playing goal as a sophomore. I broke my ankle, so I had to work on getting back into shape to pass the conditioning test.

How do you keep yourself engaged in the game?

It's hard to stay in the game when you get one or two shots in the game. But I keep in the game by communicating with my teammates.

— Andrew John

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