Lib­erty goalie is all about de­fense

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Tim Shoemaker Tim Shoemaker is a free­lance writer for The Morn­ing Call.

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.

CHRIS SHIP­LEY/THE MORN­ING CALL

Em­maus field hockey coach Sue Butz-Stavin posted her 950th vic­tory Mon­day. Butz-Stavin’s ca­reer mark im­proved to 950-81-35.

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