NEWTOWN – Talent and versatility often lead to success in scholastic sports. As evident in Council Rock South’s recent 2-0 girls soccer victory over rival Council Rock North, the Golden Hawks’ Kasey Schlupp possesses a big batch of both these important attributes.
On South’s official roster, Kasey is listed as a defender, a role she both acknowledges and relishes, “I normally play in the back. I’m usually the center-back or the outside-back, depending on where my coach wants me to play. I have to make sure we are always marked up and one of us is always engaged.”
The showdown with Council Rock North was crucial for South’s postseason aspirations. Having gotten off to a rocky start to the season, the Hawks needed to keep their recent positive momentum going, a trend particularly important for seniors such as Kasey
“We started off not that great and then realized we had to pick it up. We realized if we don’t start winning, there is going to be an end to the season. All the seniors said this might be the end.”
After losing three of their first five games including a 3-0 drubbing by CR North, the Golden Hawks rallied. “We realized we were coming together when we tied Neshaminy. The game before, we played super well together, though we lost to Pennsbury. That put us in good shape for the Neshaminy game. We had gained confidence.”
They would need all that confidence to take their sister school in the rematch. The Golden Hawks entered the game tied for second place in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Division with a 4-2-1 league mark. The Indians were right behind them with a 4-3 record. A victory was crucial to keep either team’s playoff hopes alive.
To keep pace in the division, the Golden Hawks knew they had to stop the Indians’ top scorer Kayla Robinson. The task fell in Kasey’s capable hands. “Last night (against North), I was marking Kayla and we made sure somebody was behind me. We always have to cover for each other, just in case something happens. There is always constant communication among us. Covering Kayla wasn’t really the plan. It just kind of happened and it was working, so we stuck with it.”
Kasey was tenacious in her marking of the Indians’ ace, especially down the stretch when North went on a furious run. After Kasey slowed down the speedy Robinson, another Hawk would fly in for the double team.
Shutting down the Indians’ offensive firepower would, however, only assure a tie. Knowing the Hawks wanted a win, Kasey called upon her offensive talents. “The reason I get up and score is because of sets and corner plays. Because of my height, I’m good in the air so I’m always up on kicks.”
Kasey’s first scoring bolt came with 21 minutes and 39 seconds gone in the scoreless battle. “It was off a free kick from Sierra (Tarantino). She was probably about 30 yards (from the goal). She took a shot and my body momentum just took it right in. I don’t even know where I hit it. I kind of ran through it.”
Though modest in her recount, Kasey’s alert play gave the Golden Hawks a 1-0 lead, one they knew was tenuous at best. “The whole game, we definitely knew we would need another goal. It definitely did not secure a win for us. It was a fight right to the end.”
The extra security came two minutes into the second half when Kasey once again found the back of the Indians’ net. “That one came off a corner from Sierra (Tarantino). I was front post. It was a great kick that went right to my foot and it went straight to the back post.”
The 2-0 win kept the Golden Hawks’ momentum intact. It also provided Kasey with a lifetime memory. “After the game, I was on cloud nine. I was so excited. It was the perfect night and one I’m always going to remember. Senior Night is always so special. All our friends and family are there. Scoring two goals on Senior Night was so special.”
With rematches against Pennsbury and Neshaminy coming in the next two weeks, Kasey just might have a shot at more cherished memories. The streaking Golden Hawks seem primed for a dramatic end to the regular season.
Council Rock South 2, CR North 0
(Oct. 5 at CR North)
CR SOUTH 1 1 – 2
CR NORTH 0 0 – 0
FIRST-HALF GOALS: CRS — Kasey Schlupp, from Sierra Tarantino, 22nd minute; CRN — none.
SECOND- HALF GOALS: CRS — Kasey Schlupp, from Sierra Tarantino, 42nd minute; CRN — none.