Loren Gehret can hurt opposing defenses in a number of ways.
Whether it’s throwing long-range shots into the top corners of the net, aggressively beating defenders against a loose ball, passing out of a double team or giving precise corner kicks, it There’s a good chance that when Southern Columbia scored this year the junior forward had something to do with it.
Gehret has scored (42 goals) or assisted (22) on 64 of the Tigers’ 88 goals (72.7%) this season as Southern Columbia repeated as the State’s Class A women’s football champion.
“She reads the pitch very well,” said southern Colombia coach Derek Stine. “She works well with her teammates and she is very selfless.”
Gehret has been selected as Women’s Football Player of the Year by The Daily Item for the second time in a row.
This is the latest in a series of accolades for Gehret, who was recently named All-State, All-Region and All-American.
“I was in complete shock,” Gehret said of being fully American. “Last year, I was any region and I panicked. My parents were so excited. The only thing above that is all American, and it was crazy for me to be so close.
“To be an all-American is crazy. It still doesn’t seem real.
Being an all-region player in his sophomore year for the reigning state champions, Gehret has garnered a lot of attention from opposing defenses this season.
“We knew it was going to happen, and she did too,” Stine said. “She uses her teammates very well.”
With two or three defenders guarding her at a time, Gehret had to add new skills to his repertoire.
“I talked to my coaches because sometimes I got really frustrated,” she said. “I had to learn different ways with defenders and had to work harder off the ball. It also made my teammates run to open spaces.
“It was really frustrating at times, but it helped me and my teammates in the long run.”
Gehret has always been a willing passer, and it makes it easier for her when her teammates are so good at finishing.
“Our outside midfielders are really super fast,” said Gehret. “When I was going to turn and there was no space for me, I just played it wide. They can beat anyone with the dribble.
“Anyone on our offense can score, so I knew I had to drop a nice ball and they would hit a really good shot on goal.”
Adding new things to her game isn’t unusual for Gehret, even things she learns from watching college games.
“I was looking at Bucknell, and this girl was going around the corner. Then she cut it and got a great open shot, ”Gehret said. “I tried it in a game because it worked for her, and it worked for me too. It was neat to see something, then do it and make it work for me.
Gehret is perhaps best known for her outside shot.
“We haven’t necessarily told her to do more, but when the opportunity presents itself, she has to take it. She has a great outside shot, ”said Stine.
“I learned I had pretty decent independence at a young age, and it helped me as I got older,” Gehret said. “Confidence is a huge thing for me, and I have people telling me that I have a great outside shot and that I have to shoot it.”
Gehret’s favorite goal this season has come from playing the Southern way. She erupted between a defender and a goalkeeper, beating the two against a loose ball that she directed into the net just 90 seconds before the national final.
“We’re a really super aggressive and strong team,” Gehret said. “We get a lot of goals just by fighting against defenders. Our team will do everything in their power to score a goal.
While Gehret’s header came during play, that attitude is one that many of her teammates have used to convert her corners.
“She reads it really well and places the ball well,” Stine said. “She really liked taking them. There was no doubt that if she was on the pitch, she would take it.
Gehret, who is starting to turn to college football programs, currently competes in tournaments for his club football team, Penn FC, and plays high school basketball for the Tigers.
“You learn different basketball skills that can help football, and vice versa,” Gehret said. “You cut, move, use different muscles. “
While football is probably in Gehret’s future at the next level, basketball is not. So she wants to enjoy her last two seasons playing, especially since her mother played at Lourdes Regional – where she’s still the top scorer and rebounder – and played college basketball. His father played football in college.
Before college, she still has one football season with the Tigers.
“Obviously I want to win the state championship again,” Gehret said. “Mostly, I just want to have fun with my teammates, make it memorable and make sure everyone leaves everything on the pitch.
“I love high school football and want to keep going for as long as possible.”