Girls Soccer: Stevenson’s Krejsa: Pioneer Press Lake Shore Player of the Year
Stevenson's Katie Krejsa (No. 25): Pioneer Press Lake Shore Player of the Year. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Pioneer Press All-area Teams schedule
BOYS VOLLEYBALL: June 21
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:08PM
To get away from it all this summer, Katie Krejsa can’t wait to go tubing atop a local lake. Her dad Ken will helm the boat, and she’ll act like a tossed rock – and skip, skip, skip.
“It’s scary and fun,” said the 2012 Stevenson graduate.
Krejsa, a 5-foot-9 forward, was scary good and fun to watch in soccer matches this spring for the 15-6-2 Patriots, winners of a Class 3A regional title for the first time in Krejsa’s four-year varsity career.
The Vernon Hills resident and second-year captain scored a team-high 22 goals and delivered 11 assists – a year after finishing with 21 goals and 11 assists. Her sheer athleticism, combined with a love for soccer and an excess of the hard-work and dedicated genes, made her a force on pitches and the 2012 Pioneer Press All-Lake Shore Player of the Year.
“I’ve been on a lot of teams, and Katie is the best finisher I’ve ever seen,” Stevenson junior midfielder Jenna Weiner said. “Her competitiveness is a big part of that. She’s got this willingness to do whatever it takes to help her team win.
“Great player,” she added. “Everybody looks up to her.”
Look for Krejsa, an IHSSCA all-state pick, to have an immediate impact as a member of the University of Dayton’s soccer team. The Flyers (19-4) captured their third straight Atlantic 10 championship last fall and earned a berth in the NCAA Division I tournament.
“I don’t know what to expect at that level, but I do know it will be difficult and challenging,” said Krejsa. “It’s going to take hard work and I’m up for that. The coaches sent me a workout schedule to follow this summer; it includes weightlifting and a fitness portion. They want to make sure we’re all in good shape when we arrive on campus so that we’ll be able to focus primarily on skills before the season starts.”
Krejsa was a serial soccer-league player between her kindergarten year and freshman year. Ken and Nancy Krejsa signed their daughter up until they ran out of ink.
“So many leagues,” Katie said. “I couldn’t even tell you how many. I remember thinking, ‘Soccer is different.’ In most sports you get to use your hands to either throw a ball or hit a ball. I loved soccer right away. Loved running around and using my feet.
“I never wanted to stop playing soccer.”
Nothing thrilled Krejsa this spring more than the Patriots’ regional title did. Stevenson edged Prospect 1-0 on the home turf last month. Defender Erin Bailey scored the goal off a corner kick with 1:30 left in the second half.
Krejsa was a few feet behind Bailey at the time of the tally. Moments later Bailey disappeared under a sea of onrushing, ecstatic teammates.
“Winning that game was the best feeling,” recalled Krejsa, who never missed a match in her prep career, beginning with Stevenson’s 0-0 tie with New Trier in the 2009 season opener.
“We deserved that win.”