Ellie Coffield opened the email and was shocked at what she was reading.
Her eyes ran over the lines. Then again. And again.
She wanted to be sure what she was seeing was real.
Coffield sprinted upstairs and showed the email to her father.
Asked him if he was reading the same words she had just read.
He confirmed it.
Ellie Coffield, who scored 31 goals and added 28 assists for the Mars girls soccer team as a junior, was named the 2019-20 Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“I was so excited,” Coffield said. “I definitely took a double-take. I wasn't sure if it was real.”
Coffield adds that accolade to a slew of others she has earned after helping the Planets win the PIAA and WPIAL Class 3A championships last fall.
Coffield was also picked as the Cover Three Athletics 2019-20 WPIAL Female Athlete of the Year, the “Moe” Rosensteel Outstanding Player Award given to the best girls soccer player in Western Pennsylvania for the 2019 season, and also received first team All-State, All-WPIAL and All-Section nods.
Coffield admitted it. Receiving all these honors has been surreal.
“I really can't wrap my head around it,” she said.
Coffield's dynamic play has come by no accident.
Mars girls soccer coach Blair Gerlach has long lauded her work ethic.
He sees that as one of the main reasons why Coffield has excelled so thoroughly on the soccer pitch, as well as in the classroom where she hold a 4.2 GPA.
“She constantly works harder to get better,” Gerlach said. “She sees nothing as good enough.”
Coffield committed to the University of Pittsburgh early.
She had to make a very difficult choice to give up basketball so she could focus exclusively on soccer and the time that sport now demands.
Coffield had also played volleyball and hockey.
She left the basketball court after her sophomore season as the starting point guard.
“It was an extremely hard decision to make to quit basketball,” Coffield said. “I always said basketball helped me with soccer. You wouldn't think it would, but it did with the hand-eye coordination and quickness.
“But I made the decision when I committed to Pitt that soccer was going to be my focus,” Coffield added. “Soccer was what I was going to do after high school.”
Coffield is hoping she gets a senior season on the pitch at Mars.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way Coffield is preparing for the season this fall, which as of now will happen as scheduled.
But things when COVID-19 is involved is not set in stone.
Coffield has been working out in her backyard. Club soccer is beginning soon and so, too, will high school practices in August.
Coffield said she used the down time to reconnect with her family.
She has three younger siblings — a sister who will be a sophomore on the Mars soccer team this fall and two brothers who are 11 and 5.
“I've always been so busy it was hard to spend time,” Coffield said. “This brought us a whole lot closer. We've been doing a bunch of family-type things and it's been good to be able to sit back and catch your breath.”