Five Parkland senior girls announce college intentions
There’s a tradition of Salvaggio family members that went to Penn State University—four generations to be exact.
Parkland senior Siena Salvaggio will be the next member of that family to sport Penn State’s blue and white colors for the next four years. The one difference with her, however, is the fact that she’ll be the first one to play a sport at the college level.
“I’m really excited to go continue my swimming and academic career there,” Salvaggio said. “The coaches and everything are so great and welcoming. I’m so excited to be a part of the team next year.”
Salvaggio, who will swim at Penn State on a full athletic scholarship, was one of five Parkland female student-athletes that were recognized last week for signing collegiate letters of intent. Cathleen Gaffney (lacrosse, Lenoir-Rhyne University), Sarah Stagaard (lacrosse, Grand Valley State University), Regan Allsop (soccer, West Chester University) and Victoria Connolly (swimming, Lehigh University) were the other athletes who received partial or full scholarships towards continuing their athletic careers at the Division I or II level.
A magnificent volleyball player for Parkland as well, Salvaggio had a storied career in the pool. She’s coming off a junior season in which she captured gold in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle titles at states. For her career, she’s collected eight gold, two silver and two bronze medals on the district stage.
“I think Penn State has always been in the back of my mind since I was a little girl,” said Salvaggio, who committed roughly a year-and-a-half ago. “I think I just knew Penn State had the right campus feel, and it was somewhere I could envision myself the next four years.”
Salvaggio wasn’t the only Parkland swimmer who garnered Division I interest. Connolly, a seasoned distance swimmer, joins Lehigh after placing fourth in the 500-yard freestyle at states last winter. She also has a total of two gold and three silver medals at districts.
Gaffney was Parkland’s leading goal-scorer on the lacrosse field last spring, collecting 61 in her junior season to go along with 32 assists. She’s credited with over 100 career goals to her name as well before her final season gets underway and she continues her collegiate playing days in North Carolina.
Her teammate, Stagaard, who will be traveling to Michigan to play in college, recorded 36 goals and 27 assists as a junior. Her first two seasons were just as impressive, tallying 21 goals and six assists as a freshman and 31 goals and 12 assists as a sophomore.
“I’ve been working and playing lacrosse since third grade,” said Stagaard, who looked at James Madison, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock and Robert Morris as well. “It’s definitely nice to be able to go and continue to play at a more of a competitive level at Grand Valley.”
Stagaard always had aspirations of playing a sport in college, whether it be lacrosse or basketball, where she is one of the Trojans’ top players.
“I’ve always definitely had a thought of playing either basketball or lacrosse in college,” Stagaard said. “I don’t think it really hit me until freshman year that I really wanted to play lacrosse in college.
“I didn’t expect to end up going to Grand Valley. But when I got there I loved the campus. I met the coach and the team, and I loved them. I think I’m going to be a good fit for their program.”
As an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) First-Team selection at goalkeeper for girls soccer, Allsop led the Trojans in net with 20 shutouts in 25 games this past season. She has also tallied 138 saves on 156 shots, good enough for an 88 percent save mark.