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When a team is on the cusp of a district playoff run, and has been in a scoring slump, something big needs to happen to change momentum.

And last week, McConnellsburg's Rebecca Wenschof lit the match for the Spartans' explosive victory over Chestnut Ridge, and what the team hopes will be a strong finish to the season, and a trip to the District 5 Class 1A playoffs.

She netted a hat trick against Ridge to propel the team to a 5-0 victory, and was named the P.O. Female Athlete of the Week.

Wenschof may only be a sophomore, but she is the area's second-leading scorer with 12 goals and an assist, despite playing at forward for the first time. She transitioned from a defender to the new position in the offseason to fill some of the gaps on the field.

"This year we had some high expectations, but there were a couple spots on the team that we were unsure about," McConnellsburg coach Chris Mellott said. "But I think Rebecca has stepped up and filled those positions, and that says a lot about her work ethic and attitude."

"It's been a big change," Wenschof said. "At the beginning I was just trying to learn the position more, and work hard up at forward. I think the girls around me work hard to pass to me and get the the ball where it should be. We work hard as a team."

As of Monday morning, McConnellsburg sat in the final qualifying spot in Class 1A, with a pair of games remaining before the district cutoff date - both against district teams.

Mellott said, "We had a lot of goals coming into the season that have been working. Our ultimate goal was to get a home game and make it past the first round. That's certainly achievable this year and our goals seem to be panning out.

"Rebecca is bringing a lot of energy and a really good work ethic. She's always involved in the play, she is young and she is learning."

A pair of wins this week will be vital for McConnellsburg to secure a home playoff game.

"The second half (against Chestnut Ridge) we started to get more focused and we knew we had to win," Wenschof said. "I think it really made us realize we need to work harder to win these next two games and make it to districts, and move up. We want to have a game at home because I think on our home field we have a real advantage."

Rebecca Wenschof, McConnellsburg

Sport: Girls soccer

Position: Forward

Grade: Sophomore

Parents: Ed and Lisa Wenschof

Other interests: She is in chorus and plays saxophone in the band.

Game day prep: Wenschof's mom makes her a special noodle dish the night before every game.

Surprising fact: Wenschof lives on a goat farm.

Statistics: Wenschof netted a hat trick in a vital Sideling Hill League victory over Chestnut Ridge, keeping the Spartans' District 5 hopes alive, and knocked the team out of a scoring slump ... Wenschof is the area's second-leading scorer with 12 goals and an assist.

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