Hannah Laslo will be on very familiar turf when the York Catholic girls' soccer team takes on Bishop McCort in a first-round state Class A playoff game on Tuesday night.
The Fighting Irish sophomore goalie will return to Richland High School's Herlinger Stadium, the place where she started as a freshman last fall on Richland's District 6 Class A championship team.
Laslo transferred to York Catholic on Nov. 16, following soccer season, when her family moved to York from Johnstown.
"I thought I was finished playing at Herlinger, but I guess I get another chance," she said on Monday afternoon. "I think it's going to be really cool. I talked to a lot of my friends from my old school, and they're going to come and support us."
The 6-foot, 1-inch Laslo, who saw significant playing time on York Catholic's District 3 Class AA basketball championship and state runner-up team last winter, now is headed for states with the soccer team.
"I didn't think we would get there, but we got a lot better from the beginning of the year," Laslo said. "Once we got into districts, I figured we had a chance to go to states."
The York Catholic girls will make their first appearance in the state playoffs. The Fighting Irish feature 11 seniors, including Kathleen Johnson, who along with her freshman sister, Elizabeth, are the team's leading scorers. Emily Ryan, the starting goalie last year, is a starter in the midfield this year.
"Emily provides stability for us in the midfield, and we have three seniors starting at defender, so we have experience there," York Catholic head coach Ryan Luckman said. "The girls have confidence that if there is a mistake, Hannah will clean it up."
Laslo, who uses her height to pull down rebounds and score inside during basketball season, swats away shots headed for the upper part of the net and stretches full length to make stops in soccer season.
She delivered an unforgettable performance against Dallastown in this year's York-Adams League Tournament, recording 18 saves in a 2-1 double-overtime loss to the Division I champion Wildcats.
Laslo credits her teammates with helping improve her confidence and decision making.
"I always had trouble figuring out when to come out (leave the goal area)," she said. "I never played the field, and I didn't know what to tell them (the defenders). The girls here helped me with that."
Laslo and her teammates made history by qualifying for states after finishing third in the District 3-A Tournament. On Tuesday night, they'll seek to earn the program's first state playoff victory.
To do so, they'll have to overcome the District 6 champions, who shut out both of their district tournament opponents, 1-0.
Bishop McCort, which broke Richland's string of four straight district titles, also happens to be the alma mater of Laslo's mother, Chris McClurkin Laslo. McClurkin Laslo finished an outstanding basketball career at McCort with more than 1,500 points and 1,500 rebounds and earned an NCAA Division I scholarship to Marshall University.
"She (McClurkin Laslo) always had trouble at Richland whenever we played McCort because she still has pride in her alma mater," Hannah Laslo said. "One of my friend's parents said to my mom, 'you can't root for your alma mater because your girl is playing against them.'"
Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolin email@example.com.