Female Athlete of the Week, Liza Ernst doing her best to lift Chambersburg's profile
One area program that has been flying under the radar in recent years is the Chambersburg field hockey team – the Trojans haven't had a winning record since 2008.
But a team stuffed with underclassmen in 2015 is starting to make a little noise, and junior midfielder Liza Ernst is one of the leaders. She helped Chambersburg to a 2-1 record last week and is the Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
The Trojans are now 6-6 with wins in three of their last four games, and have only one senior on the entire roster.
Ernst said, "In the beginning of the season I wasn't sure how we'd do because we're really young. But we have improved and should be even better next year. We're playing together now and have more confidence."
That confidence was helped Friday afternoon. Chambersburg had lost 5-0 to Mifflin County early in the season, but in their second meeting, the Trojans took a 1-0 victory. Ernst scored the game-winner on a shot with no time left in the first half after Jordyn Amsley inserted a penalty corner.
Chambersburg coach Jen Amsley said, "Liza was very instrumental in our week, especially that Mifflin County game. She's normally on attack but she can get back and help on defense. Friday, we pushed her back and she probably helped save us a couple of goals."
Amsley said that Ernst is just starting to get some interest from Division I coaches.
"Coaches are starting to look at her because her skills have really developed, and her confidence, too," Amsley said. "She can play end to end."
Ernst said she worked on her game at a showcase at Disney World last winter and she played for a club team in the summer, hoping to improve her skills.
"I can lift the ball now, and when I dribble I can keep it on my stick better," she said. "And I know when to cut to the ball now. I play lacrosse in the spring and some of the skills for that are similar."
All of the work that Ernst and her teammates are doing is in an effort to build something for the team.
Amsley said, "Liza is one of our key people – we'll play as well as she plays. And she's determined to get our program turned around and start making the playoffs."
Liza Ernst, Chambersburg
Sport: Field hockey
Parents: Carol and Trevor Ernst
Interests: She also plays lacrosse for the Trojans and loves to dance.
Surprising fact: Ernst says she is "pretty good at ping-pong."
Favorite athlete: Abby Wambach
Statistics: Ernst helped the Trojans go 2-1 last week ... She had an assist in a 2-1 loss to Central Dauphin, put in 2 goals and had an assist in a win over CD East, and in Chambersburg's 1-0 victory over Mifflin County, she scored the game's only goal ... For the season, Ernst has tallied 7 goals and has 6 assists.