Villa Joseph Marie’s Rich Finneyfrock named National Soccer Coach of the Year

HOLLAND — Villa Joseph Marie High School recently announced that Rich Finneyfrock, head soccer Coach at the school since 2004, has been named National Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Coach Finneyfrock achieved two significant milestones during the 2014 season — he earned his 200th victory as Villa’s coach during the team’s playoff run, and he ultimately led the Jems to a PIAA Class AA State Championship, his third as head coach.

The NSCAA will honor Coach Finneyfrock for this achievement with a special award at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia. He and his fellow national winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday evening, Jan. 16, 2015.

“This is an incredible accomplishment and well-deserved recognition for Rich. His knowledge of the game,’ Villa Joseph Marie Athletic Director Becky Flynn Hensel commented. “His passion and respect for the sport and his ability to get his athletes to personify his teachings is truly remarkable. We are very proud!’

On Nov. 15 at Hersheypark Stadium Villa Jo captured its first PIAA championship since 2007 the way it won all season long — with a shutout.

The Jems registered their 15th clean sheet of the season in blanking District 10 champion Villa Maria Academy, of Erie Saturday afternoon, Nov. 15 in the title tilt at Hershey Park Stadium. Junior goalkeeper Gretchen Frantz recorded four saves in between the pipes for District 1 champion Villa Jo.

Tallying the game’s only goal was VJM sophomore Casey Kilchrist, who scored in the first half for the Jems.

Villa Maria junior goalkeeper Emma Shimek recorded a dozen saves in goal for the Victors, who finished their season at 20-2-1. Shimek surrendered just three goals in four state playoff games.

The state champion Jems were that much more stingy on defense than the runnerups, however. Villa Jo did not give up a goal in two district playoff games and four PIAA playoffs as the Jems outscored all six of their postseason foes by a combined score of 21-0.

Villa Jo finished the season at 22-1, its only loss a 1-0 shortfall it suffered at the hands of Suburban One League Continental Conference rival CB East, a District 1-AAA finalist and state semifinalist this season.

For this bunch of seniors who have captured four straight district crowns, it is its first state title. The group is led by Allie Trzaska, Alexa Fabbri, Taylor Stevens, Morgan McDonough, Kristen Glaum, Sam Baran and Erin Durnin.

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