2021 Daily Local News All-Region Field Hockey Player of the Year — Kate Galica – PA Prep Live
BERWYN — Conestoga has had a season for the ages, winning a district title and advancing further in the state tournament than any other team in program history. While many players have signed up for the Pioneers in different games, no player has had a bigger and more consistent impact than junior forward Kate Galica.
For her contribution to the success of The Pioneers this season, Kate Galica is the Daily local news Field Hockey Player of the Year.
Galica is known for her field hockey prowess, but make no mistake: Galica is a complete athlete, having done jumps and track sprints in the past, and she still plays lacrosse and basketball for Conestoga as well. . According to Galica, developing different skills for different sports only helps an athlete become better at all of those sports.
“Every sport is different, but all of them make me stronger for the next sport,” said Galica. “In basketball I jump a lot and the defense is like lacrosse, and that helps me win draws on the circle and practice defense for lacrosse.”
Mentally, being rare, the athlete of three sports keeps a sharp mind.
“The other thing is the big competition that I play against in the Central League for all sports,” said Galica. “Most games are close battles with no margin for error and someone has to step in. I have it. lucky to have awesome teammates so there is always someone willing to take it to the next level.
Galica made her early debut in field hockey, first picking up a stick in kindergarten.
“I started when I was in kindergarten and played Fast Flicks for several years before I joined the Main Line Field Hockey Club (Mayhem),” said Galica. “Some of my friends would start playing soccer, but I was having more fun playing field hockey. “
For a few years Galica played as a midfielder, before some of his coaches realized his speed could be better used up front.
“Midfielders see the action both defensively and offensively and I’ve always enjoyed being around the ball,” said Galica. “I like to catch the ball in a small space, then extend the game by sprinting over the sideline. I am surrounded by great players, so once in the circle, I try to find the open players. I like that the game goes so fast and that we are trained to act fast. That style of play has worked well for us this season.
Although she continues as an athlete in three sports in high school, she already made a commitment to playing a sport at the University of Virginia, and the sport is lacrosse.
“I just think my speed is being used at its best in lacrosse, but it was a decision I had been dreading for years,” said Galica. “I played lacrosse and field hockey for clubs and it was a huge commitment for my family. Right now my lacrosse team, NXT Black, is ranked in the top 5 in the country. Half the squad is in Division 1 so I feel lucky to be playing at such a high level as I prepare for the UVAs.
Virginia wasn’t the only school that wanted to bring Galica over to play sports, but once she visited it was an easy choice.
“The recruiting process has been a bit overwhelming, to be honest,” said Galica. “In discussing all the options with my family, we always seemed to land on UVA. Then I went there and loved the campus, the coaches and all the players I got to meet. It made the decision so much easier.
While it will be a strange new world when she switches from three sports to one, her body and mind might just welcome a little break.
“Playing three varsity sports puts a lot of pressure on my body,” said Galica. “And with club lacrosse all summer, I really don’t have an offseason, I forget what it’s like to sleep on the weekends.”
But all of this is still a bit on the road. For now, Galica will soak up the success of the last field hockey season and expect a senior year that could even be better.
“We were all very curious about this season,” said Galica. “We are still competitive, but we had important gaps to fill because of our senior graduates. Once we beat Villa in a preseason scrimmage and then beat West on their turf, we really started to believe in our ability to do something special.
The Pioneers have continued to improve. They clinched a Central League title with a 3-2 victory over Garnet Valley at the Jaguars field, then beat them again in the District 1, Class 3A title game. Conestoga won his first two games in the state tournament to advance to the semi-finals.
Between ‘Stoga and a place in the state title match was District 11 champion Emmaus High School. Emmaus, whose coach surpassed the 1,000-win mark earlier this season, has a decades-long state tournament qualifying streak and has seen their roster strengthened with the season-ending transfer from Hill School to Melea Weber, an 18- U national team. Weber, who has only played three games for Emmaus, the last three games in the United States, scored two of Emmaus’s three goals in the 3-1 win. The Hornets won the state championship.
“We left everything on the field for our last game and I couldn’t be more proud of Conestoga field hockey,” said Galica. “Maybe we should have looked for our own transfer, but honestly we had a chance to beat them regardless. I learned early on not to blame the officials or the weather or whatever when you lose. We will still have big shoes to fill next season, but we are fortunate to have star players and I can’t wait to get started.
No athlete ever does it alone. It takes a whole team of coaches, teammates and family members for an athlete to be successful.
For Galica, that family includes her older brother, Kris, who ran and played football in Conestoga, and now a freshman at James Madison and Ranger in the Army ROTC program, as well as her parents, Kevin and Stephanie.
“My parents and family have always supported me on the side,” Galica said. “They always make sure I get to the pitch on time and with the right uniform. And my grandfather, Alan, always brings me a Gatorade. I couldn’t do it without them.