Wirth is league MVP

Sentinel file photo Greenwood’s Paityn Wirth was named Tri-Valley League’s field hockey MVP.

Greenwood had a solid 2016 field hockey season in the Tri-Valley League going 10-0 to win the TVL title.

Sophomore Paityn Wirth led the way for Greenwood, leading the league in scoring with 23 goals and nine assists, which is why she was named MVP of the league.

“She was by far our leading scorer and led the league in scoring,” Wildcats coach Kent Houser said. “That is an indication of the time and effort she put into field hockey. Whether she is the MVP or not, we are glad to have her for two more years.”

The Wildcats will say goodbye to three seniors after this year, the first being Maddy Pyle, who in her senior season scored nine goals and had three assists in the TVL.

“Maddy has been a three-year starter and had a really good senior year,” Houser said. “It was nice too see her put the ball in the cage this year for us.”

Morgan Burkepile also ended her career at Greenwood. Burkepile was a contributor to the offense with five goals and two assists.

“Morgan had a lot of speed for our attack, another senior who had a lot of experience.” Houser said.

The third senior that made first team for the Wildcats was goal keeper Nikki Willi. In her final season, Willi only allowed six goals against league opponents and made 37 saves for a save percentage of 86.05.

“She has been a four-year starter in goal,” Houser said. “We lost a lot of defense in front of her from last year so she had a lot to bear this year. She has been a joy to coach and she is a real leader and we are going to miss her.”

The fifth player selected was junior defender Courtney Fleisher.

“I thought she finally got the recognition that she deserved,” Houser said. “Very solid defender and very excited to have her back next year.”

Houser was also named coach of the year in the TVL, but he doesn’t see it as an individual award.

“I look at it as not just myself but the whole staff and the players who make it happen,” Houser said.

East Juniata had two selections to the squad, senior Grace Brosius and sophomore Laney Dowling. Dowling finished second in the TVL in scoring with 13 goals and two assists during her sophomore campaign.

“Laney has come into her as an inside on our field hockey offense,” Tigers coach Jodi Strawser said. “She finds a way to come up with the ball, puts her head down when she needs to and dribbles through coverage to find her way to the goal or at times has her head up looking unselfishly for that pass to a teammate. She is definitely coming into her own as an offensive leader on our team and we are expecting great things to keep happening for her.”

Brosius ended her senior year scoring a goal and collected four assists and was a key part of the Tigers’ defense.

“Grace Brosius has been such a good fit in our defensive game since moving to our school district as a sophomore,” Strawser said. “Her incredible reach with her stick, her hustle across the field, her giving her all to get in the way of opposing team’s offense wherever that may be on the field has made her a great asset these last three years I have coached her. She will be missed at that mid position.”