Four area girls’ soccer players were honored recently by the WPIAL.
Greater Latrobe senior captain Maddie Delucio and Ligonier Valley senior standout Tatum Hoffman were both named All-WPIAL selections this season. Greater Latrobe freshman midfielder Ella Bulava and sophomore keeper Sofia DeCerb also joined Delucio on the WPIAL All-Section team this season.
Delucio scored 11 goals and seven assists to lead the Lady Wildcats this season. She has led Greater Latrobe offensively since her freshman season, setting a career best this year as one of the top goal-scorers in the WPIAL. Bulava finished Greater Latrobe’s season with three goals and three assists. DeCerb recorded three shutouts and tallied 68 saves for the Lady Wildcats.
Delucio made an impact for the Lady Wildcats at the outset of her career, earning the team MVP all four seasons and serving as team captain the previous three.
“As coaches, we have watched her progression from a skillful individual player to a team leader who commands the play of the game,” Greater Latrobe coach Jamie Morrison said. “Her vision and awareness have grown tremendously and allowed her to better impact the overall outcome and help her team rise to their best level.”
Delucio led the Lady Wildcats to a 4-4-1 record, including Greater Latrobe’s first playoff appearance in six years and a win against Penn-Trafford for the first time in 25 years. Delucio is committed to play Division II soccer at Slippery Rock University next season.
“She is an outstanding soccer player and more than deserves this amazing accolade,” Morrison said. “We are excited to see Maddie’s list of achievements continue to grow.”
Hoffman finished the season with 12 goals and seven assists at Ligonier Valley, factoring in on a high percentage of the Lady Rams’ total team goals. She was the Lady Rams’ leading goal scorer during her junior and senior seasons.
“We are thrilled for Tatum to be selected All-WPIAL in our first season in a new district,” Ligonier Valley coach Eric Vogelsang said. “This is another one of the reasons why we love the move to the WPIAL in spite of the tougher competition.”
Hoffman will end her career at Ligonier Valley with 31 goals, which puts her 10th-place all time in the Lady Rams’ girls’ soccer scoring list.
“Soccer never had a conference (in the Heritage Conference), so we never got to declare an All-Conference representative,” Vogelsang said. “But even for the sports that did (get an All-Conference pick), you named one of your own players as the Heritage Conference representative, so there wasn’t a lot that was earned.
“You get to nominate your own players (in the WPIAL), but you’re strictly forbidden from voting on your own players, so both All-Section and All-WPIAL are ultimately determined by the respect the player gains from other coaches.”
Vogelsang called Hoffman the epitome of commitment, as his senior standout turned her full attention from a successful and accomplished ballet career to soccer at Ligonier Valley following her freshman season.
“She had my best off-season attendance three years running, frequently worked out on her own and absolutely, positively turned herself into an All-WPIAL player,” Vogelsang said. “She’s what happens when you commit yourself fully.
“The story I love to tell about her is that last summer, we had a workout on a hot, July evening where Tatum didn’t have a ride to get there. All of my summer workouts are optional, but she didn’t want to miss, so she walked to soccer from home in 80-degree-plus weather, which took her more than an hour, but she was happy to do it.”
Vogelsang said that in previous years, Hoffman was too hard on herself, but she made a mental transformation and growth during her senior season.
“This year, she kept her cool and kept her focus for every second of every game,” Vogelsang said. “And any frustrations made her play harder and better. The talent and potential has been there since she put that time in after her freshman year. The mental transformation this year is what turned her into a very deserving All-WPIAL performer who we are all very proud of.”