JACKSON TWP — Megan Park's stock is rising ... and moving on to the next level.
Seneca Valley's senior soccer defender signed a letter of intent recently to continue her academic and athletic careers at Youngstown State University.
She verbally committed to the Division I program in April of her sophomore year. She will receive a scholarship.
“It's the best fit for me. Athletics was a big part of my decision, but YSU also has my major (exercise science) and staying close to home was important to me,” Park said.
Park was on SV's varsity squad all four years. She became a starter her junior season and helped the Raiders to a 17-3 record and a WPIAL championship in 2018.
“The seniors, we all became so close,” said Park. “The chemistry we have with each other is crazy. We worked so well together and I will definitely miss that.”
Park's varsity play, coupled with her club experience with Beadling, has turned her into a seasoned defender.
“Megan brings a lot of calmness to our back,” said Raiders' coach Mark Perry. “She's a very steady, consistent and smart player and distributes the ball well.”
“I have definitely improved over the last few years,” said Park. “Helping the team get a shutout is my main motivation.”
YSU went 4-13-1 this fall in head coach Brian Shrum's second season with the program. The Penguins won just one game in 2018.
Park, one of eight in YSU's latest recruiting class and one of just two defenders, will be counted on to help the Penguins continue to improve.
“We'll be trying to build the program up and I'm excited about that,” said Park. “It will be fun to work together.”
Shrum has high hopes for what Park can contribute.
“She is a prototypical center back that has the size and strength needed to deal with balls being played into the box by the opponent,” Shrum said in a press release. “She can drive balls behind a high defense as well as begin the attack from the goalkeeper. We'll look for Megan to come in and challenge for a spot and contribute from the start.”
The Penguins compete in the Horizon League, which includes 10 teams across six states.