Amanda Stewart eventually put home the game-winner in the second overtime, but the all-around brilliance and hustle of Keelan kept the Knights in the game. Keelan, who is playing with a huge brace on her knee, is slowly adjusting to her new home on the field.
"I miss scoring," Keelan said. "The knee is doing good. I played goalie on my club team (West Chester Predators) and I’ve always been a backup goalie. I was nervous at first, but once I made the first save, I was like I can do this."
During her time away from the field, Keelan supported her teammates by becoming a third coach. She cracked jokes and shouted encouragement to her teammates.
Of course, Keelan got an early start in stopping shots. Her brother, Kieran, the 2003 Daily Times Boys Soccer Player of the Year, used to fire shots at her in the backyard when they were younger. Kieran, who is now attending Messiah College, finished his career with 115 goals.
"I would stop a few of his shots," Keelan said. "He would never let me shoot, but I didn’t mind."
Keelan’s play in goal could go a long way in helping a young Knight team make a third consecutive appearance in the PIAA Class AA District One title match. Keelan learned a lot from watching Lana Trotter in goal the last three years for the Knights. Much like Trotter, Keelan is a soothing presence on the back line for coach Mike Dicken.
Sarah Hayes is back.
Hayes missed most of last year with foot problems and tendinitis.
The senior stopper scored her first goal in two years during Radnor’s 1-1 tie against The Hill School last Saturday. Hayes, who has been playing soccer since first grade, is one of the leaders of the Red Raiders, who were sitting at 1-1-1 before Tuesday’s game with Central League favorite Conestoga.
"Right now, finishing is our weak spot," Hayes said. "I think we’re getting better. I think we’ll begin to shine in our next few games. We’re still coming together tactically as a team. For me, I am just happy to be on the field."
Hayes spent 10 days in Brazil during the summer with a pro-select team. Hayes enjoyed her experience, which included four intense games against Brazilian teams, eating unlimited amounts of seafood, watching Kapowera, a unique fighting style in Brazil that combines karate, and break-dancing.
"That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen," Hayes said.
Springfield split its opening two games of the season by beating Harriton, 1-0, and losing to Cardinal O’Hara, 3-0. The Cougars could be the youngest team in the county. The Cougars have three sophomore captains (Jackie Eastman, Jessie Furia and Kellie Mooney). It’s unusual until you consider there are two juniors and one senior listed on the Cougars roster.
"I know we’re going to take some lickings this year because we’re young," Springfield coach Bill Booth said. "But we should be a better team. The coaches picked the captains. We felt the effort they showed in practice that they really deserved it."
Booth has already been impressed with the improvement of Eastman. According to Booth, Eastman has a better first touch, makes great runs without the ball and always seems to be in the right position.
Maybe it’s time the Delco schools play each other because last week was a rough one when they played Chester County schools. A quick note to the Chester County schools, please start taking it easy on our Delco teams.
In the 16 Delco vs. Chesco matchups last week, Delco posted a 1-11-4 record while being outscored 66-12. A Chesco school scored five or more goals in eight of the games and posted seven shutouts.
Radnor recorded the only victory by edging West Chester Henderson, 1-0.
Take a close look at the Super 7 because it looks a little different. For the first time in the six-year history (44 polls) of the Super 7, Strath Haven does not occupy one of the top two spots. The girls soccer Super 7 debuted Sept. 21, 1999 with Haven at No. 2.
Sorry, but the standings will appear in next week’s notebook.
Agnes Irwin is off to a quick 2-0 start behind a balanced scoring attack that has seen six players score at least one goal (Ludmila Crowther, Alison Heffernan, Anita Sellers, Vennie Mahmoud, Danielle Uber, Bridgett Connolly).
"Our offense is pretty good this year," senior captain Katie Archer said. "We don’t have to rely on one player to do all of the scoring. Also, our defense is stronger too because we changed formations."
Garnet Valley is a team that bears watching. The Jaguars have gotten off to a solid 2-1-1 start behind the leadership of Amanda Lamb. The senior attended a soccer camp at the University of Delaware. Lamb, who belongs to the student council, SADD, French Club and peer counseling, improved in several areas including passing, through balls and communication. Lamb is looking into majoring in pre-law in college.
The Jaguars played consecutive double overtime games in less than 24 hours Friday and Saturday against Great Valley and Delco Christian. The schedule was so grueling that even senior twins Jen and Jackie Moretto, who are always full of energy, were drained. The twins have provided a great assist to this reporter in helping to separate them. Jackie has pigtails and Jen has a ponytail. Thanks.
Finally, beginning next week and continuing through the end of the season, this reporter will highlight a great girls soccer moment from the last five years (sort of like an instant replay girls soccer style).
To contact Rob Knox, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. ©The Daily Times 2004