Mars' Shining Star
ADAMS TWP — Mars soccer midfielder Ellie Coffield has been named Cover Three Athletics 2019-20 WPIAL Female Athlete of the Year.
The junior scored 31 goals and added 28 assists last fall in helping the Planets win the PIAA and WPIAL Class 3A championships. She also carries a 4.2 grade point average.
“I'm not surprised by anything she achieves at this point,” Mars girls soccer coach Blair Gerlach said. “Ellie is a very mature individual who is very humble, yet holds herself to a high standard.
“She constantly works harder to get better. She sees nothing as good enough, whether it's in the classroom, on the field or on the court when she played basketball.”
Earlier this school year, Coffield was named first team All-State, All-WPIAL and All-Section in soccer. She also received the 'Moe' Rosensteel Outstanding Player Award for the 2019 season.
Coffield beat out three other nominees — basketball and volleyball players Paige Morningstar of North Allegheny, Mya Murray of Uniontown and Jersey Wise of West Greene. Murray is a senior, the other two juniors.
The winner is determined by a Google vote.
“I feel extremely fortunate just to be nominated with those three girls, let alone win the award,” Coffield said.
Gerlach was impressed Coffield won the award for a couple of reasons.
“No. 1, a soccer player won it,” the coach said. “No. 2, it's not a Quad-A school. We don't have one-third the number of students there are at North Allegheny.
“I don't think Ellie got the majority of votes from Mars. I think she got all of the votes from Mars.”
Such numbers wouldn't surprise Coffield.
“The Mars community has always been very tight and supportive,” she said. “I love playing here. If I could, I would play every sport there is.”
Coffield was a point guard for the Planets' girls basketball team her freshman and sophomore years. She was part of the Mars team that won the state championship in 2018.
Growing up, she played volleyball and hockey, along with soccer and basketball.
“Once I committed to Pitt (for soccer), I felt like I had to commit myself to soccer in order to achieve my goals down the road,” Coffield said. “One of the hardest decisions I've ever made in athletics was giving up basketball as a result. I really miss it.
“But my goal is to step on the soccer field when I get to Pitt and contribute from Day 1. My dream has been to play in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) and I'm going to realize that dream.”
She has to play out her senior season first.
“I'm just hopeful we have a season,” Coffield said, thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic. “I'm excited to see what my senior class is going to accomplish next year.
“I learned a ton (from this year's seniors). They've been tremendous role models since I was a freshman. I want to turn around and do the same thing.”
Gerlach puts nothing past Coffield, who will be a team captain next season.
“A lot of kids have clear-cut goals and are focused on those goals,” he said. “Not so many are willing to make sacrifices to get there. When you have an athlete like Ellie who is willing to do that, awards like she's been getting are attainable.
“She is laser-focused. I'm excited and pleased to see her getting all of these accolades because she deserves every one of them.”