Varga will add scoring punch to ACHA DII women's hockey
March 19, 2020 | Pittsburgh, Pa.
Liberty University ACHA Division II women's hockey Head Coach Rena Leone recently received her first commitment for the fall semester, Amanda Varga, a forward from New Castle, Pa., who scored 19 goals and distributed nine assists in 42 games this season with the Steel City Selects, based in Pittsburgh.
|With her parents in attendance, Amanda Varga signs her letter of intent to join the Lady Flames ACHA Division II women's hockey team this fall.|
Leone first watched Varga play at the Nov. 27-29 Girls' Thanksgiving Classic hosted by the Pittsburgh Elite.
"She also skated with the women's DII hockey team here on Jan. 31 when we played the Jr. Predators, and she automatically fit in with the team on and off the ice," Leone said.
She assessed at that time that Varga would be an excellent addition to the Lady Flames, who will only graduate one senior forward and one senior defenseman from their 13-player roster this spring.
"Amanda impressed me with her positive personality and her drive on the ice," Leone said. "I see Amanda as a motivator on the team. She has a positive attitude and I can see her being a huge encouragement to the team morale. I believe she will be a major impact in front of the net and scoring goals. She has good vision on the ice and looks to where the puck is going, not where it's been."
|Amanda Varga celebrates a goal in a game with the Steel City Selects this season.|
Varga has learned to lean on her faith to be an overcomer in life.
"I strongly came to faith when everything that could've gone wrong in one year of my life went wrong, and I needed something stronger than myself to help me get through it, physically and emotionally," she said. "That was when I started calling on God and I got through the hard parts."
She looks forward to the challenge of launching her collegiate hockey career at Liberty while pursuing a degree in biochemistry and a career as a cardiac physician assistant.
"I hope to continue to develop spiritually at Liberty by remaining strong in my faith and exemplifying it every day towards others," Varga said. "I can practice my faith along with working on my major to succeed in what I put my mind to with the help of my friends and teammates."
Varga believes she can make an immediate impact on the ice and help the Lady Flames maintain their offensive production after a season in which they finished 16-5, including 9-0 at the LaHaye Ice Center, and outscored opponents by a 99-45 margin.
|Amanda Varga skated with the Lady Flames' DII team on Jan. 31 at the LaHaye Ice Center.|
"I am hoping to add another strong force to the team, to be another supportive member to my fellow teammates, and to be a leader that helps my teammates succeed so we can go far into our season," she said. "I feel the strengths of my game are my ability to read the play to put myself in the right area, using my size to my advantage. When I get the puck, I always try to make a play and get it to the net."
Having played hockey for the past 13 years, including more than half of her career in boys' leagues, Varga is prepared to take her abilities on the ice to a higher plateau at Liberty.
"I truly started to blossom this year with opportunities given to me to work on developing my game and skills to my fullest potential thanks to my head coach, Jim Black," she said. "Playing with the Lady Flames in the future, I plan to elevate my game to the next level and exceed my expectations in playing at the collegiate level."