Recruiting Thursday: Greater Latrobe's Sofia DeCerb

The Wildcats junior goalkeeper will play collegiately at James Madison University

Thu Mar 17, 2022 - 9:47AM

Jack Ridenour Jack Ridenour
Sofia DeCerb tallied eight shutouts in Greater Latrobe's section championship season last year. (Photo by DeCerb tallied eight shutouts in Greater Latrobe's section championship season last year. (Photo by

Last Updated: Thu Mar 17, 2022 - 3:51AM

Sofia DeCerb has another year of high school soccer to play, one more year to win another section title with Greater Latrobe, and more time to be recruited by college coaches. But, she recently decided to end the recruiting process and make her collegiate decision.

DeCerb will continue her career on the pitch for the Dukes of James Madison University, and she noted how quickly she fell in love with the school and soccer program.

“It feels so relieving to make this decision, I’m so excited,” DeCerb said happily. “Out of all of the schools that I visited I felt most at home at James Madison. I fell in love with the campus, I fell in love with the environment there. Obviously for the soccer portion I love the way they run things down there.”

The choice to commit early was a difficult one for DeCerb, a junior, to make. The recruiting process was a lengthy one for her, with coaches being able to reach out to recruits last June. She had been through the process for almost an entire year, visiting schools, calling coaches and playing in front of scouts.

“It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made,” she said about committing. “Even though I’m just a junior, I’ve been talking to coaches and going on visits, almost, since June 15th. It felt like this recruiting process took a lot longer than me being a junior.”

“I think now that I started the recruiting process and I got so in to it and I got the offers, it was definitely a tough decision to make. But, it was an easier decision to make now rather than my senior year and dragging it (recruiting process) on."

Now that DeCerb knows where she’ll continue her career in soccer, she can focus on her senior season and work on capturing another section title. Last fall, she notched eight shutouts in helping the Wildcats secure their first section title in 29 years and a 13-2-1 record. Among those eight shutouts came during the title-clinching match, a 3-0 victory over Hempfield Area.

“The moment was surreal, I wasn’t really expecting it,” DeCerb said about winning the section championship. “As the season went on, it became more visible that it was achievable and that everyone wanted to achieve it."

DeCerb took time after winning the section to reflect on the previous seasons and how far the Wildcats program has come. She mentioned the struggles the team faced during her freshman season in 2019 when they finished 3-12 overall and 2-10 in Section 3-4A.

“My freshman year, we were losing every game,” she said. “We were losing like 8-0. I definitely reflected on that, maybe not in the moment of the buzzer going off and the final whistle. But definitely a few minutes after, I looked back at how far the team has come.”

Her success on the soccer field can be traced back to her younger days as a player. Her grandfather, Tom Kennedy, helped teach her the sport at a young age and she quickly fell in love. Kennedy has been an exceptional resource for her with his extensive coaching background, as he was the boys soccer coach at both Greensburg Central Catholic and Greater Latrobe for many years.

“I’ve been playing since I was three and that is all because of him,” DeCerb explained. “Along the road it was nice having him there and having someone there that understood.”

“My parents didn’t really play soccer so I didn’t have anyone in my family to go to for soccer stuff. He was definitely the person I would always go to for that.”

The influence of her grandfather has impacted her tremendously up until this point in her career, but she knows she still has much more to achieve. As her senior year approaches, DeCerb is aware that she still wants to check off a few more accomplishments before she heads to James Madison. Once the season commences, the goalkeeper knows it’ll be another chance to win a section title and, hopefully, do some damage in the post-season.

“As a team, I want to win section again and, honestly, go far in playoffs," DeCerb said, alluding to the Wildcats losing in the first round last year. "Individually, I just hope to honestly guide my team. I just really want to help get my team to that point and take them far.”