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Stark picks Youngstown State

| Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ROSTRAVER TOWNSHIP -- It may have taken longer than it would have for most, but Belle Vernon Area star soccer player Cori Stark has finally decided where she is going to play in college.

Stark, who holds the school records in both goals (124) and assists (53), will play at Division I Youngstown State University after landing a full scholarship.

"I chose Youngstown State for several reasons," Stark said. "I love the campus, their academics are excellent, they have a great team and I really like the coach (Will Lemke)."

The distance also played into her decision.

"It is two hours away and it is close enough for my parents to come and watch me play but far enough that I am on my own," she said.

"It was important to me for my family to still be able to come watch me play and support me."

Stark is looking to go into a health-science field.

BVA coach Paul Sasko is happy for Stark.

"Cori deserves this," he said. "Nobody worked harder than Cori and she showed up to practice with the goal in mind to make it to the next level and she has accomplished that. I am extremely proud of her."

Stark scored 35 goals with 19 assists her senior year.

The Lady Leps won the section all four years during Stark's tenure, and were undefeated the last three.

BVA's section record was 54-2, including a current win streak at 46.

Stark's numbers would have been higher if Sasko didn't have a three-goal limit per player in a game.

"Cori could have scored so many goals," Sasko said. "But it has always been my intention to never run it up on teams."

Stark has played soccer year round since she was four years old.

Her cup team, the Beadling Soccer Club, won seven straight state titles. The 2005 team took the Regional title and placed fourth in the Nationals.

She was named to the 2005 and 2008 Olympic Developmental Program Region 1 team and in 2008 was invited to train during Thanksgiving and to the Interregional event in Florida.

Stark hopes to contribute as a freshman.

"I am looking to crack the starting lineup," Stark said. "I want to make an immediate impact."

Youngstown State plays in the Horizon League with Butler, Cleveland State, Detroit, Green Bay, Loyola (Chicago), Milwaukee, UIC, Valparaiso and Wright State.

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