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Two-time PIAA state champion Sokach picks Penn

West Pittston resident led Wyoming Seminary to state titles

Pictured from left to right, seated, Stephen Sokach, father; Carly Sokch; and Jeriann Sokach, mother; standing Alexis Sokach, sister; Karen Klassner, Sem Director of Athletics and Head Field Hockey coach; Stephanie Sokach, sister.

Carly Sokach of West Pittston, a senior at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, will continue her academic and athletic career at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in the fall.

Sokach will play for Penn’s head coach Colleen Quinn Fink in the NCAA Division I Ivy League Conference. Now entering her second year at the helm, Fink’s inaugural season was highlighted by a pair of overtime wins against Columbia and St. Joseph’s, ending with a record of 3-14. Prior to joining the Quakers, Fink led the Haverford Fords for four seasons as head coach. During her tenure the Fords improved each year, ending in 2009 when they made their first ever play-off appearance and gained their first playoff win in the Centennial Conference.

Sokach said she had considered other universities such as Harvard, Yale, Brown and Rochester. She said she chose Penn because she felt it was the best university to prepare for a career in medicine while playing field hockey. She is also looking forward to playing with Sunny Stirewalt, a 2010 Sem graduate who played an important role in the Quakers’ wins last fall.

"The Quakers are a very close-knit team that is working on stepping up their game and becoming much more intense," she said. "The defense all communicate well and that is really important to me as a keeper. I am very impressed with Coach Fink’s coaching and game strategies. I also enjoy how the campus is integrated into the city and I love Philadelphia. For me it’s the best of both worlds."

Sokach, a four-year varsity letter winner and starter at goal for the Blue Knights, was a member of the 2008 and 2010 state AA championship teams. A member of the 2010 Academic All-State, she was also named to the and the 2010 Academic All-American Squad. She helped lead the Blue Knights to a 20-1 record in 2009 and a 26-2 record in 2010. Her 2010 records at Sem include 10 games in which she was not scored upon, two of which were in the state playoffs, and a total save percentage of 85.1 percent.

In addition to field hockey, Sokach has been a force at shortstop on the Blue Knights’ softball team, earning three varsity letters and serving as captain for three years. She plans to major in biology with a pre-med concentration.

Sokach is the daughter of Stephen and Jeriann Sokach of West Pittston.

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