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Springville-Griffith Institute sisters named to All-WNY teams

SPRINGVILLE — The Buffalo News published a list of the girls soccer All-WNY teams on Jan.1.

That publication edition featured a photo of 10 girls who were selected as the top players in Section VI. Adding some purple to the page was Springville-Griffith Institute junior Tia Woodarek, who was selected by area coaches and representatives from The Buffalo News for the All-WNY first team. She was also chosen for third team All-State.

“Being selected has been at the top of my goals for a while,” Woodarek said. “I worked hard, on and off the field, all year round, and accomplishing it was huge, for me. I get another year to try and get it again and I’m honored. I’m very thankful for the opportunities given to me.”

The player set single-season career highs in goals, with 27; assists, with 14 and points, with 68, this season.

TALK WITH YOUR FEET — Springville-Griffith Institute varsity soccer player Tia Woodarek is pictured, controlling the ball, during a game against Maryvale. Photos by Dan Nesselbush.
She scored 2 goals, during the Lady Griffs’ upset of Newfane, during the playoff quarterfinals. Newfane was the reigning, two-time sectional champion. Woodarek captained the team that went 14 – 5 and was one win away from the sectional championship game.

“This year, we had a great bunch of girls that all worked very hard and we all wanted to win,” Woodarek said, about her team’s success.

Twin sister Alena Woodarek was named to the All-WNY second team.

Woodarek scored 23 goals, this past season. Her season high record is 25, which she accomplished, during her freshman season.

She was co-captain of the Lady Griffs, with her sister, when Springville won a school record 14 games. The Lady Griffins lost their last game of the season to Akron 5 – 1, but Woodarek said that the loss did not diminish the girls’ happiness about their successes.

“Losing that last playoff game did not define our season,” she said. “We accomplished so much, through [Coach Eric] Holler. Most important to me was our team’s overall success, through becoming co-divisional champions and setting a school record for 14 wins, in a single season.”

The sisters began playing soccer for Springville Youth Inc. when they were 5 years old. They played modified soccer as seventh graders and made their way to the varsity team, as eighth graders.

During their first year at the varsity level, the Woodareks each scored 7 goals, to share the team lead.

During their four years at the varsity level, they have, together, scored 148 of the team’s 188 goals.

CAN’T TOUCH THIS — Springville soccer player Alena Woodarek (center) splits two defenders, during a game played against East Aurora.
Alena Woodarek said that being twin sisters pushes them to always be at their best. “We definitely have a very competitive nature,” she said. “That’s the best thing about being a twin. You always have someone there to push you or remind you that there’s always someone out there working harder than you, even if it is your own sister. One quote we always say to each other is, ‘If you’re going to be on the field, be on the field. It reminds us that we aren’t going to get better, if we don’t do things to the best of our capabilities.”

Both sisters were selected for the All-WNY third team, as sophomores.

When Tia and Alena Woodarek are not playing soccer, they are competing in varsity basketball and participating in track and field.

Both are among the basketball team’s top scorers, with leader Tia Woodarek’s averaging 9.6 points, per game.

Both girls are pole vaulters, in track. The sisters also play travel soccer for Black Watch Premier, which will be traveling for tournaments in Canada, Massachusetts and New Jersey, this spring.

Tia and Alena Woodarek credited their parents’ support in the success of their athletic careers, up to this point.

“Our parents are unbelievably supportive of us,” Tia Woodarek said. “They come to every single one of our games, whether it’s basketball, soccer or a track meet. They drive us all over the place, just so we can play. Some of our tournaments are 9 hours away, so we know how much they care.”

The girls will play in their final high school soccer season, next fall. They share the school record for career goals, with 74, leaving them 26 goals away from reaching 100 goals.

Tia Woodarek said that she already has goals set, for her senior year. “For my senior season, all that is on my mind is getting 100 goals and getting first team for New York state,” she said.

The junior-year athletes both said they are undecided, when it comes to college plans. They are still researching various educational fields.

Whatever journey the girls travel on, in the future, they said that they know their close-knit family will support them, all the way. “If it wasn’t for our parents, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Alena Woodarek said.
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