Liberty goalie is all about defense
As a goalkeeper, senior Kaitlin Borda is the last line of defense on the Liberty High School field hockey team.
Perhaps it’s a coincidence, then, that Borda has an interest in being in a substantially more important defense business. In fact, she already is involved.
Borda missed the first week of school and all of Liberty’s preseason practices because she was in basic training for the National Guard in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The daughter of Stacy and Brian Borda signed up for the National Guard last March, as a junior. She did so well that she finished second in her class of 209 in Physical Training.
“It’s something, in general, I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “I’ve always been passionate about it. There’s no story behind it, no family connection. I always knew I wanted to join. It was a matter of determining which branch.”
She settled on the National Guard. She is tentatively set to report to Fort Lee, Virginia, next summer for job training. She also plays softball at Liberty and plans to play field hockey while studying criminal justice in college.
She has a specific goal in mind: work for the Bethlehem Police Department.
As far as finishing second in the PT assessment, Borda had planned to do better. She works out in the three areas — pushups, situps, two-mile run — regularly. She hoped to win.
“I was more prepared than a lot of people,” she said. “I was hoping to be on top, but I was happy with the outcome.”
Borda claims to be an inadequate field player in field hockey, but that does not detract from her enjoyment of putting on the pads and defending shots on goal.
“Field hockey has its own aspects,” she said. “There’s more stress involved in being a goalie. There’s so much dependent on you on shots on goal. It’s a whole different aspect of stress. I love playing goalie. It’s a fun thing for me.”
Tough Week For Tigers: Northwestern Lehigh was one of the better stories in last year’s District 11 playoffs. The Tigers were seeded No.7 in Class A, but reached the championship game, where they lost to Lehighton.
Despite graduating two college-bound goalkeepers and having only two seniors on this year’s roster, Northwestern (20-1) won its first two games before settling for a tie with Wilson.
Now, the going gets tough. The Tigers play No. 7 Southern Lehigh Tuesday, Northern Lehigh on Wednesday and have a D-11 title game rematch with No. 9 Lehighton on Thursday. After a Saturday date with Salisbury, No. 6 Bangor looms on Monday, Sept. 16.
If nothing else, coach Lissa Opalsky will learn a thing or two about her team, which will meet three ranked teams from the area within seven days.
“I’m just hoping to make it through this week without falling asleep at my desk,” she said.
Allyson Myers, Lauren Schellhamer and Greenleigh McGehee, in addition to a young goalkeeping unit that has played week so far, have helped keep the Tigers afloat in the Colonial League so far.
“We’re building on a lot of the stuff that we were stressing in the preseason,” Opalsky said as she prepped for Monday’s practice. “We’re not there yet. I’m glad we’re not there yet. I hope that we’re not peaking at the beginning of the season.”
The Defense Never Rests: Pocono Mountain East goalie Nadia Waller two shutouts, one highlighted by a stick save in a win over ES South.
Jillian Frank, Erin Kistler and Megan Serfass have been “instrumental in controlling the game” in Palmerton’s 2-1 start, according to coach Pat Frank.
Moravian Academy junior Emma McWilliams had an “excellent” week controlling play, according to coach Wendy Sheetz.
950 And Counting: After Monday’s 5-3 win over Downingtown West, Emmaus coach Sue Butz-Stavin has a career record of 950-81-35.
Games Of The Week:
EPC – Tuesday: Easton at Stroudsburg. Thursday: Easton at Liberty. Saturday: Liberty at Pocono Mountain East, Stroudsburg at Emmaus.
Colonial – Tuesday: Southern Lehigh at Northwestern. Wednesday: Saucon Valley at Bangor. Friday: Palmerton at Southern Lehigh, Moravian Academy at Saucon Valley.
Emmaus field hockey coach Sue Butz-Stavin posted her 950th victory Monday. Butz-Stavin’s career mark improved to 950-81-35.