Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: GCC's Devon Nguyen, Penn-Trafford's Amanda Steffey

| Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 10:12 p.m.

Devon Nguyen

School: Greensburg Central Catholic

Sport: Soccer

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Nguyen scored a goal for Greensburg Central Catholic in a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Riverside in the WPIAL Class A championship game Saturday. Nguyen, a defender, also scored a first-half goal in a 2-1 win over Sewickley Academy in the semifinals Oct. 31.

“Well, I've been trying to get some goals during my four years,” Nguyen said. “But, as a defender, it's kind of tough. It's more about helping the team in achieving our goals. The goals are just icing on the cake.”

What are your college plans for next year?

Right now, I definitely want to play in college. I'm still deciding where I want to go. I have two showcases with my club team (Beadling Soccer Club). I would like to study in architecture or civil engineering. I like art and math. Architecture is said to be the bridge between the two.

What was it like to avenge last year's consolation loss to Sewickley Academy?

Going into the game, we wanted to come out with the win after last year we lost to them and weren't able to qualify for states. It left us with a bad feeling. We had to be focused and come out strong. It's not just one individual but more of a team effort. I think we came out strong and I don't think Sewickley Academy was expecting it since they had the undefeated record.

What was the feeling after losing to Riverside in the finals?

It's tough anytime to lose in the finals. We have a second chance to get a state championship, unlike last year. I had to gather the team as a captain and tell the team to put the loss behind them, and we still have a chance to win states. The loss will just motivate us during the state playoffs.

What did the team learn during the injury-riddled season?

Anytime we have the top players out, it's always rough. I had confidence in the reserves and our bench. I know they would do well, and whenever we needed them to step up they did.

Who is your favorite soccer player and why?

Ji-Sung Park (of the Queens Park Rangers) because of his work ethic. He doesn't look like he gets tired. He runs miles and miles. Also, Brek Shea from the U.S. national team because of his work ethic.

Amanda Steffey

School: Penn-Trafford

Sport: Field hockey

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Steffey, who had two goals and an assist, scored the game-winning goal 40 seconds into the second overtime for Penn-Trafford (14-3-1) in 3-2 win over Peters Township in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs on Oct. 23. Steffey, who was elected homecoming queen, and the Warriors lost to Fox Chapel, 1-0, in overtime in the WPIAL final on Oct. 31.

“I thought our team played really well,” said Steffey, who finished the season with 34 goals and 14 assists. “We had a lot of injuries and a lot of people were getting sick. I think we had a great season.”

What are your college plans for next year?

I'm still looking at colleges. I want to play field hockey in college, so I have been trying to talk to coaches and seeing where I would fit in best. I'm still undecided on my major, so I haven't been able to limit my school choices yet.

How would it have felt to win back-to-back WPIAL Class AAA titles?

That would have been amazing. I listened to the game online a couple of days after the game and it seemed like we weren't able to finish some plays. But I was still proud about how the team did this year.

How did you get into field hockey?

When I was in eighth grade I heard the high school had a team and I didn't know what it was. So, I got into a league the summer before and (attended) a camp at Seton Hill. I have been playing ever since.

What are you going to work on this offseason?

I need to work on my defense. I need to get harder shots on goal. I have hard shots, but I'm not always consistent with the shots that I take.

What has been the best piece of advice you've received?

My coach, Cindy Dutt, tells us to play our game and give it your all. Also, she says to be aware of how you played no matter if you win or lose. I put my all in it every game.

— Andrew John

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