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Central York field hockey standout commits to play at NCAA Division I level for Temple

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Cental York field hockey standout Victoria Whitehead has committed to play for the NCAA Division I Temple Owls.
  • Central York field hockey standout Victoria Whitehead has made her college choice.
  • Whitehead will play at the NCAA Division I level for the Temple Owls.
  • Whitehead, a two-time all-state honoree, has scored 64 career goals.
  • Whitehead will be a senior in the fall. She is a three-time York-Adams Division I all-star.

From the day that Victoria Whitehead started her varsity field hockey career at Central York as freshman, it was clear that she was special.

Her speed and her ability to score goals were a dream combination for any coach. It certainly was for Panthers coach Lori Livingston, and now it likely will be the same for Temple coach Susan Ciufo.

After two-plus years of recruitment, the Owls sealed the deal with Whitehead when the Central standout recently committed to the NCAA Division I program.

"They started recruiting me back in the late summer after my freshman year," said Whitehead, who has 64 career goals, including 14 game-winners at Central. "And they really haven't stopped since."

It probably didn't hurt that Whitehead has picked up a lot of recognition along the way with her play. A three-time York-Adams League Division I all-star, including back-to-back player-of-the-year honors, speaks to just how dominating the junior can be.

FIELD HOCKEY ALL-STARS: Central York's Victoria Whitehead repeats as D-I Player of Year

In addition to her local honors, Whitehead was also recognized by coaches around the state for her play. She is now a two-time Class 3-A all-state honoree.

"It's always been a goal for me to go Division I," Whitehead said. "And I grew up in a family as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, so that definitely played a role in it. I think that is where they wanted me to go."

Temple was 8-10 overall last season, including 4-8 in the Big East.

Thanking her coaches: Whitehead also thanked Livingston for helping her along with the process.

"I don't know where I would be without the entire Central staff,"

Whitehead said. "I think a lot of it goes into the confidence that they showed with me, especially coming out of middle school. Coach Livingston was always super, super attached to the commitment and the college stuff. She was always asking me where I wanted to go, and she was really big in the communications aspect of it."

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While the Owls finally won out over the Maryland, Penn State and Michigan, Whitehead did consider Division II power Kutztown, a school where Central teammate Grace Harrold committed to recently.

"Kutztown was at the top of my Division II list," Whitehead said.

Looking ahead to next season: Now that the stress of making a decision is over for Whitehead, the next thing on her to-do list is helping the Panthers get a taste of success at the next level — the District 3 playoffs. Much like the rest of the 3-A teams in the York-Adams League, Central hasn't made a long run in the playoffs in quite some time. Central finished 11-3 last season but was ousted in the first round of the district 3-A playoffs.

"We have a really strong team," Whitehead said of the 2021 Panthers squad. "We are all really hard-working, and I think that if we all work together that we can 100% be a team that plays in districts and is successful there."

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.