6 Tigers honored by TVL
East Juniata’s girls soccer team reached the state semifinals after going undefeated in the TVL (10-0) and were rewarded with six selections as TVL all-stars.
Junior striker Hailey Swartz led the league in goals scored with 22 and had six assists for 50 total points giving her the nod for the first team.
“She is a very dynamic forward who keeps the defense and on their heels and finishes her chances,” Tigers coach Valeria Dressler said.
Senior mid-fielder Eleana Benner was also given first team honors, as was senior defender Gracie Brubaker.
“Eleana was a solid defense mid that kept girls motivated throughout the game and kept our midfield together,” Dressler said. “Gracie helped provide 12 shutouts throughout the season by being our last defender back and bailing us out time and time again.”
Senior keeper Lily Sankey was selected to second team. In the TVL Sankey had 16 saves and a save percentage of 88.89, second best in the league.
“Lily was very solid for us throughout the season. Though she wasn’t challenged much in the league, she made numerous important saves,” Dressler said.
Others who also made second team include mid-fielder Paige Crissman and defender Paris Feltman.
“Paige was an attacking mid who was very dangerous for us when she went to the goal, she was not afraid to go 1-v-1 and shoot,” Dressler said. “Paris supported Gracie by being our first line of defense. She was usually tasked at defending the most dangerous player on the other team and was great at it.”
Dressler in her first season with the Tigers was named the TVL coach of the year.
“It is a pleasure to have gotten coach of the year for my first year as coach,” Dressler said. “However, I could not have done that without the support and help of my husband Christian Dressler and brother Pietro Passalacqua. We as a coaching staff contributed our time and knowledge that made our team successful. We are excited for the years to come.”
Juniata’s girls soccer team tied for second in the TVL North division and the Indians were rewarded with three all-star selections.
“Each of these seniors were instrumental in the success we’ve had over the past four season,” Indians coach Brian Strawser said.
Josie Swartz was voted league’s MVP with 19 goals and five assists for 43 points as a first team selection. Senior defender Ellie Shepps also was given first team honors.
“Josie was a four-starter for us and contributed to three TVL titles and a District 6 title. She’s extremely hard worker and a ferocious competitor,” Strawser said. “I doubt I’ve ever coached someone more competitive than she is. Much of her success is due to her hard work ethic and she is very deserving of not only her selection to the first team TVL all-star team but also being named league MVP and all-state selection.
“Ellie Shepps has been an outstanding defender for us, much of our success over the past four years gas been due to tough defense we play and Ellie has been an important factor in that,” Strawser continued. “As a sophomore she stepped up to fill in for a defender we lost to graduation and continued with the same aggressive play we had been accustomed to. Also very deserving of her first-team selection.”
Senior striker Lilli Reed was given the nod to the second team with eight goals scored and six assists for a total of 22 points.
“Lilli Reed is another senior for us who has contributed all four years while playing here at Juniata,” Strawser said. “She was more of a forward her first three years but this year, due to injuries to teammates, stepped in to play attacking mid-field. Her skills will be missed.”