PW closes in on SOL American title with win

SPRINGFIELD >> For those who believe in symmetry, we give you Plymouth Whitemarsh High sophomore Sophie Kolkka, a gifted three-sport athlete who just happens to be a triplet.

She’s also proud to point out she’s the oldest of the triplets — by a minute. And the lone female.

But most importantly, Kolkka is a very special player who has already drawn lots of Division One interest for both field hockey and lacrosse.

Wednesday, Kolkka flashed that D-I potential form in leading the Colonials field hockey team to a 2-1 win over Springfield.

Kolkka assisted on the first Colonials tally, a little under 9:00 into the first half.

Then, as the game clock ticked down in the second half, she drove home the game-winner to pull PW to within a victory of locking down at least a tie for the Suburban One League American Conference title.

“I’m only a sophomore, but on this team everyone has stepped forward to lead when we need it,” said Kolkka, who was an All-League selection as both a lacrosse and field hockey player as a freshman. “I’m really an in-the-moment person, and all of the sports I play are a part of me. I can’t let any of them go.”

Kolkka said she’s been playing field hockey, lacrosse and basketball since the third grade, and the competition gene she possesses came with the territory.

“Along with my (triplet) brothers, I have an older brother and an older sister, so I’m used to a lot of kids in the house and there being a lot of competition.

“I think that’s made me a stronger person.”

Kolkka carried the Colonials to their first goal, beating three defenders and getting the ball into the circle, where Paige Totten hammered it home to put the visitors on top.

In a contest that had very few offensive chances, the ball seemed to be stuck in the midfield for most of the rest of the half.

“It was a hard game to watch,” said Colonials head coach Marianne Paparone. “On a grass surface you can’t get any continuity, it’s hard to get into a rhythm.”

The Spartans, however, made a late move, with Meredith Giordano tying the score at 1 at the 12:06 mark of the second half.

That goal seemed to re-ignite the Colonials, who carried play the rest of the way, finally taking the lead for good when Kolkka drove a hard shot that slipped through a cluster of teammates and defenders and into the cage.

“We keep it simple here,” said Springfield head coach Linda Nixon. “We really just wanted to go out and play a good, solid game of hockey. And I think we did that.

“We have a lot of young players here, and I think we’re coming into our own. We’re starting to get better.”

With a conference title imminent, Kolkka said the Colonials are not about to back down.

With two games left, the Colonials would prefer the outright title, and seem to have the schedule in their favor, with games against Cheltenham (Thursday) and Norristown coming up.

“We want to go as far as we can,” Kolkka said. “It’s like a sisterhood that we have here. We’ll just push each other a little harder.”

As for her future, Kolkka said she’s looking at the likes of Monmouth, Delaware, Connecticut and James Madison, although she’s “keeping (my) options open.

“If the offer is there, I would play both lacrosse and field hockey,” she said. “But I know that would be pretty tough.”

But after competing with four siblings for most of her young life, how difficult could it be?

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