Wyoming Seminary senior Alex Wesneski scored the tying goal in regulation and the game-winner on a penalty stroke in overtime, lifting Sem field hockey to a win over Newport and a spot in the PIAA semifinals. For her efforts, Wesneski was named The Citizens’ Voice Athlete of the Week, presented by Coordinated Health.
The team hasn’t had to play from behind that often. Once you were down, 2-0, what was the key to working your way back?
We called a timeout after the first goal, and we’ve honestly been in this situation before in the regular season against (WIlkes-Barre Area). We knew what we had to do, but it was more of a mental game. We played really calm for being down two goals. We were just able to find the back of the cage eventually.
What did it mean to you that coach Klassner put the game on your stick in such a big moment in overtime?
It means a lot. From my freshman year, I’ve watched Kelsey Reznick go through the program, Aubrey Mytych, and Kate Romanowski and Mia Magnotta, all these people that go through and succeed in field hockey. For (the coaches) to put their faith in me to score the last goal, it meant a lot.
Did you know what move you were going with from the start?
Honestly, I do the same stroke every time — I try to switch it up once in a while at practice, and coach yells at me because I should stick with the same one. It’s hard enough that a goalie will miss it. So, I thought about it, and I was like, “I probably shouldn’t.” Just go with what works best.
You’re very familiar with your next opponent, Greenwood. What do you feel you have to do tactically to get a win?
Their passing in the midfield is unbelievable. We just need to lock down the two mids in the center of the field and be able to transfer the ball.
What does it mean to you, as a senior, to have this opportunity to accomplish your ultimate goal in your final high school season?
It’s exciting because, obviously, we’re defending a state title. Everyone is out to kill us, which is honestly a lot of pressure. But, it means a lot to me and my fellow seniors and my teammates to have the opportunity to keep going.
Get to know Alex
- Hometown: Forty-Fort
- Family: Mom, Barb; father, Larry; brothers, Josh and LJ; dogs, Rudi and Diggins; cat, Montana
- Favorite school subject: Science
- Pregame superstition: Eating chocolate chip waffles the day of each game
- Favorite TV/Netflix show: “Raising Dion”
- Favorite app on smartphone: Gravity Pops!
- If Alex were an animal, she would be a … panda.
- Alex’s favorite thing about field hockey is … all of her teammates.
- If Alex could travel back in time, she would go to … The Roaring Twenties.
- Alex’s biggest role model is … her brother, LJ.
- After high school, Alex … will attend and play field hockey at Iowa. She is planning on studying biology.
Tyler Piccotti has covered the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for Times-Shamrock newspapers since 2017. In the Penguins Insider blog, he provides a look at NEPA’s only professional hockey team, sharing analysis and insights that go beyond the game sheet. A 2015 graduate of Syracuse University, he also has written for Bleacher Report, The Post-Standard and Lacrosse Magazine. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-821-2000; @CVPiccotti