Gombos named All-American
Hannah Gombos found the back of the net with frequency during her playing days at Parkland High School. The 2013 graduate was the leading scorer her last two years on a Trojans team that won two Lehigh Valley Conference and District 11 championships.
The expectation was that she was going to provide the same scoring punch during her career at East Stroudsburg University, but those plans changed in year two on campus.
“My sophomore year about halfway through the season, we had two girls get hurt in a game against West Chester,” Gombos said. “So my coach put me on defense since I had played there all summer for the Lehigh Valley Sonic, so I had a little experience.
“The transition was hard at first, as I was so used to being on the attacking side of the game and loved to score. But, over the past two years I have become very acclimated to playing defense and was still able to be major part of our offensive game even if I was in the back of the field.”
During the 2014 season, Gombos started 12 games at forward and nine games at right back, finishing with three goals and two assists. As a freshman, she made an appearance in all 17 games, making 13 starts, and led the team with four assists.
“I think the one thing that prepared me more than anything to play at the collegiate level was playing at Parkland,” said Gombos. “It is a very large high school with strong competition, especially in soccer. Competing against girls who played at such a high caliber all four years of high school really pushed me to play to the best of my ability, which not only made me a better player, but also helped me to see time quickly at ESU.”
Gombos played the majority of her final two years as a right back on defense. As a senior this past fall, the ESU defense allowed just 16 goals in 23 games and recorded 11 shutouts, including a school-record eight straight PSAC shutouts, helping the Warriors to a 16-5-2 record. ESU also won three straight conference titles from 2014-16, including winning the school’s first-ever NCAA Division II Atlantic Region title.
“Winning three consecutive PSAC titles and an Atlantic Region title all in the last three years was more than I ever could have expected coming into collegiate soccer,” Gombos said. “Our team has broken a multitude of school records, and really set the pace for what our program can do for the years to come. The memories I have made on and off the field are ones that I will never forget, and most of our success has come from the fact that we aren’t just a team, but more of a family, and I know each of my teammates will always be there for me whenever I need them.”
Gombos finished her career tied for fourth in school history in assists (19), while adding nine goals in 77 career starts.
At the conclusion of the 2016 season, she was named to the D2CCA Women’s Soccer All-America third team, becoming the fifth All-America selection in program history. Off the field, Gombos was voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team, posting a 3.56 GPA as a Middle Level Education major, specializing in math.
“I was extremely honored and happy that I was named to the All-American teams for the 2016 season,” stated Gombos. “It was a great way to end my soccer career at ESU, but I never would have been able to receive such an award without the help and support of my teammates, coaches and family throughout my four years of college soccer.
“Although it was not easy, being a student always comes first to being an athlete and my professors and coaches really helped to keep us balanced and in check in that aspect.”
Gombos will be student-teaching in the spring, and after graduation in May, plans to move down south to teach and coach soccer.