Saturday, December 4, 2021 | 8:16 p.m.
Football players can be categorized into a position and the duties that go with it.
Franklin Regional senior Sydney Lindeman took the midfield title and stretched it in three ways.
Of course, she lived up to the job description, working the ball between defenders and forwards to create the best scoring opportunities. But then she blurred the lines of the post, serving not only to score goals but also to facilitate them.
She turned around and stopped them too.
Lindeman scored 15 goals and had six assists – most scores and assists decided tight, low-scoring games – as the Panthers went 14-4-1 and reached the quarter-finals of class 3A WPIAL.
For her efforts, she is the Westmoreland Girls Trib Football Player of the Year.
Two Catholic players from Greensburg Central, senior Tatum Gretz and junior Sara Felder, were also finalists.
Southmoreland junior Olivia Cernuto, Penn-Trafford senior Malia Kearns and Yough McKenzie Pritts junior were also considered.
What sets Lindeman apart is a high-end playoff honor. Towson’s commit game earned him accolades from the United States Soccer Coaches Association All-Region II East.
She was the only local girl on the All Regions list. It was also a selection of all states and all WPIALs.
“I’ve been a pro-Lindeman fan since the first day I saw her play in my first regional practice at Franklin,” Panthers coach Scott Arnold said. “She is such a complete and versatile player and a humble and wonderful teammate. She has the knack of the “moment”, the precise moment in the game to make a difference by raising her level to a level no one on the opposing team can match to score or assist on huge goals.
A flair for defense also makes Lindeman a Division I caliber player.
“She also feels the defensive moments when she has to become a defensive beast and stop the best players on the opposing team.” Arnold said. “She is just an incredible leader by example whose efforts will influence current and future Franklin Regional players for years after graduation.”
Lindeman said his role can be summed up in one word: leader.
“Leading by example from time to time through my playing and the way I act as a person,” she said. “I had high expectations for this season, and being section champion was definitely part of it. Even though we didn’t get past the second round which was another of my goals, I’m very proud to say that I was part of this team.
“We played together and pushed each other in every practice. They were like my second family. They made me smile at every workout.
Fr., D, Mt. Pleasant
The burgeoning freshman scored 19 goals and 14 assists for the WPIAL Class 2A playoff team and was on the All-WPIAL roster.
Jr., F, Southmoreland
The All-WPIAL selection led WPIAL 2A semi-finalist Scotties with 29 goals and 10 assists.
Jr., GK, Latrobe
A Division I prospect who recorded eight shutouts and 108 saves, she was an All-WPIAL selection who helped lead the Wildcats to their first section title in 29 years.
Sr., MF, Belle Vernon
Led Belle Vernon with 30 goals and 23 assists and set a program record for career assists (88) en route to an All-WPIAL season.
Jr., MF / D, Southmoreland
Scored 14 goals and 10 assists for the team that reached the semi-finals for the first time and achieved All-WPIAL recognition.
Jr., F / MF, Greensburg Central Catholic
The All-WPIAL selection led Centurions to the WPIAL and PIAA Finals as they scored 38 goals, a record for the team.
Sr., MF / F, Greensburg Central Catholic
Villanova’s commitment and All-WPIAL pick scored 26 goals for GCC and finished with over 100 career goals.
Sr., F, Penn-Trafford
One of only two players statewide in Westmoreland County, the engagement Robert Morris scored 10 goals and 10 assists and also received All-WPIAL honors.
Jr., MF, Youth
The All-WPIAL selection and the commitment of Robert Morris helped lead the Cougars to the WPIAL 2A quarterfinals with 26 goals and 11 assists.
Sr., MF, Norwin
The all-WPIAL player and Robert Morris overcame injuries to lead the Knights to the WPIAL 4A playoffs.
Fr., MF, Young
Had a breakthrough season as a ninth grader, scoring 18 goals and distributing 10 assists on the way to All-WPIAL recognition.
So., MF, Latrobe
Fr., MF / F, Norwin
Jr., D / MF, Mt. Pleasant
Sr., D, Belle Vernon
So., GK, Franklin Regional
Sr., GK, Penn-Trafford
Jr., F, Belle Vernon
So., MF, Latrobe
Sr, MF, Norwin
Sr., MF, Greensburg Salem
Sr., F, Franklin Regional
Sr., D, Greensburg Central Catholic