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Bell, DeBaldo, Kopchak Among @DuqWSoccer 2017 Recruiting Class


Deena DeBaldo (l) and Tori Kopchak (r) will be joining Duquesne women’s soccer program in the Fall.

Duquesne women’s soccer head coach Al Alvine has announced his 2017 recruiting class. The group of eight student-athletes represents four states and six club teams. Local players include Deena DeBaldo (Fox Chapel) and Tori Kopchak (Mars).
“We couldn’t be more excited about this group of incoming players,” said Alvine. “It’s a very well balanced recruiting class that addresses all of our needs moving forward. They all have the ability to have a significant impact on our program both in the short and long term. Their success on the field is evident but all of these young ladies are also incredibly high achievers in classroom and in their respective communities.
“Our goal will remain to win the Atlantic 10 Conference championships and to play at the highest possible level. These eight women will go a long way in helping us achieve those goals.”

Kopchak, who was part of the 20-player graduating class with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Development Academy (RDA), said she’s really looking forward to the opportunity to play at Duquesne.

“I can’t wait to get on campus, and get started with playing,” exclaimed Kopchak during the RDA’s National Letter of Intent Day celebration on Wednesday.

Alvine will add Kopchak, DeBaldo and another Western PA product, Lauren Bell (Hickory H.S.), to a roster that is already filled with numerous local players that have helped the Dukes to an Atlantic 10 title in 2015, and a third place finish in 2016.

“The A-10 win rung a bell in my head,” said Kopchak, who was a member of Mars WPIAL Girls Class AA title winning team in 2015.
“I had been there many times. But when I met with coaches, then met with players and got a chance to see more of campus, I fell in love with it all over again.  I found myself getting really excited once I pictured myself going there.”
Kopchak joined the RDA after playing a number of years with Beadling, helping the Hounds Academy ’98 Girls teams to some big victories.
“Tori is an explosive and dynamic forward who is versatile enough to play anywhere up top or as a wide midfielder. Her work-rate is phenomenal and she brings a real element of physicality and grit to the game.”
DeBaldo, a creative midfielder, joins Kopchak after an impressive list of accomplishments including earning All-State and all-WPIAL honors multiple years, and helping her club team at Beadling win consecutive PA West State Titles in 2015 and 2016.
“Deena will bring an element of creativity and flair to our midfield this fall,” said Alvine.
“She has the unique ability to break down a defense either off the dribble or with a final pass. Deena is a true playmaker who sees the game differently than most players.”
In addition to adding DeBaldo and and Kopchak to a roster that loses nine seniors to graduation, the Dukes boast a number of former WPIAL standouts returning to its roster including:  Kyra Murphy (Canon-McMillan), Casey Ankst (Penn-Trafford), Abby Losco (Hopewell), Amber Fichter (Mars), Sydney Keremas (Canon-McMillan), Malea Fabean (Greensburg Central Catholic) andMarley Smith (Norwin). Italia Biondi (Penn-Trafford) has transferred to Seton Hill.
In an interesting note, all of the above players, except for Keremas, had played club soccer for Beadling, which has provided a terrific pipeline of talent to the Duquesne women’s program.
Bell, who also played for Beadling, despite being from Hermitage, PA and attending Hickory High School, was the District 10 (Northwest PA) Player of the Year and became its all-time leading scorer, finished her career with 183 goals. As a senior, she dominated opposing defenses while scoring 57 goals and dishing out 17 assists to help the Hornets win another District 10 championship.
Here’s the complete list of Duquesne’s 2017 Recruiting Class:
Tori Angelus, M/F 5-5, Tuckerton, N.J.  HS- Pinelands Regional, Club-PDA Impact
Lauren Bell,  F  5-7, Hermitage, Pa. / HS- Hickory, Club- Beadling
Deena DeBaldo, M/F  5-7, Fox Chapel, Pa. / HS- Fox Chapel, Club- Beadling
Kelly Donovan, D  5-8, Garden City, N.Y. / HS- Garden City, Club- East Meadow ECNL
Tori Kopchak F  5-7, Gibsonia, Pa. / Mars, Club – Beadling
Allison Maliska  M  5-8, Leesburg, Va. HS- Leesburg, Club- FC Virginia ECNL
Missy Moore D  5-5, Royersford, Pa. / HS- Spring Ford, Club- Penn Fusion ECNL
Hannah Spitzer  M/D  5-8, Williamsville, N.Y. / HS- Clarence, Club- Western NY Flash ECNL

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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