Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Upper St. Clair’s Doug Hapeman, Central Valley’s Carolina Lucci
School: Upper St. Clair
Claim to fame: Hapeman scored once for Upper St. Clair in a 3-0 win over District 3 champion Conestoga Valley in the PIAA Class AAA championship game Saturday. Hapeman, who scored the game-winner as a sophomore in the state championship, also scored a goal in the Panthers’ 3-0 win over Peters Township in the quarterfinals Nov. 8.
It seems you picked your game up in the playoffs the last two years. Is that the case?
I think so. The playoffs are a new season. One mistake could cost us and send you home for the rest of the season. Obviously, we didn’t want our season to end.
What will you guys have to do to go for a three-peat next year?
We’re going to have a target on our back again next year. It’s going to take a lot of hard work from the preseason throughout the season to hopefully get that third title in a row.
What is the difference between this team and the last two teams you played on?
I think we had more firepower offensively this year.
When you look back at this season, what will stand out?
I’ll just remember how close we were as a team and obviously going through and winning a state championship.
School: Central Valley
Claim to fame: Lucci scored at the 19:29 minute mark to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead in a 2-1 victory over Camp Hill Trinity in the PIAA Class AA title game Saturday. Lucci also scored in the Warriors’ 1-0 win over Hopewell in the semifinals on Nov. 11. Lucci scored 40 goals this season for Central Valley.
How does it feel to win a state title during your freshman year?
It’s a great experience because I’m the only freshman who went through. I just feel really lucky to go through.
How special was it for you to have an impact as a freshman?
It’s great to know that I contributed even though everybody on the team helped out. Even if you don’t start varsity, you are still a part of the team.
What will Central Valley have to do to repeat next season?
We’re just going to have to step up our game. We’re losing two great seniors. We’re going to have to do as much as we did this year if we want to repeat.
Did you feel any added pressure being a freshman and being expected to contribute offensively every night?
I didn’t. I could care less who scores or who sits. As long as the team works together and we win, that’s all that matters.
— Brian Graham