The thought plays on the minds of girls almost from the moment they begin playing field hockey for Crestwood High School.
At the end of the ride, a college scholarship may be waiting.
That possibility turned to reality Wednesday for three more Comets, as Morgan Kile, Marissa Surdy and Kailee Krupski all signed National Letters of Intent to extend their field hockey careers at various colleges.
“I think we know going in, there’s more to it than just the four years of high school,” said Kile, who is heading to Ohio State after helping Crestwood to its second straight PIAA Class 2A state final this past season.
Past history puts those types of thoughts in the heads of Crestwood players.
Just in the past few years, Crestwood coach Elvetta Gemski has sent Anna Dessoye to play for Maryland, where she experienced the nation’s top ranking for most of this past season; landed Jess Newak at Wake Forest, Chandler Akers at Iowa, and put Jenna Chrismer and Kiley Licata at Penn State.
“We’re always aware Crestwood is known for letting their girls go off to college and starting,” Krupski said. “The hope was always there. It’s always been known Mrs. Gemski had that kind of influence and produced those kinds of players.”
“Even if we don’t start at Crestwood, it doesn’t mean we’re not good players,” Kile said. “One of the great things is we have an opportunity to play for the best coach, I think, in all of North America. We have great exposure. We learn a lot, we play a lot and we have the opportunity, through Mrs. Gemski, to have that exposure.”
Kile to Ohio State
The daughter of Susan and Crestwood girls soccer coach Russell Kile would love to split her college time between the field hockey and soccer fields.
“That’s a dream of mine, to be able to play two sports in college,” Morgan Kile said. “I don’t think they’ll allow me to do it, but I wish I could.”
There wasn’t much wishful thinking on the field hockey fields with Kile, who finished seventh in the Wyoming Valley Conference with seven assists this season and registered 17 points in each of her last two years. Her play as a midfielder helped Crestwood win the 2012 PIAA Class 2A state championship and play for another state title in 2013.
“Morgan is just an athlete, a tremendous athlete,” Crestwood coach Elvetta Gemski said, “and just a tremendous leader.”
Kile took a hard look at Temple and seriously considered joining her teammate Marissa Surdy at Delaware.
“We thought it would be kind of cool to possibly hve the opportunity to spend four more years together,” Kile said.
In the end, though, being around the Buckeyes to brought Kile a familiar feeling.
“What set Ohio State apart was, the team was like a family,” Kile said. “That really sealed the deal for me with this.”
Kile helped seal dominance for a Crestwood team that captured the state crown a year ago and went unbeaten until the state finals this past season by scoring a combined 10 goals and resistering 14 assists during her past two seasons.
“To be in it for a second time is a true privelage,” Kile said of Crestwood’s back-to-back state championship game appearances. “I thought I had a good season. Of course, there are always things you can improve.”
About Ohio State
Nickname — Buckeyes
Conference — Big Ten
2013 record — 6-13, reached Big Ten semifinals
WVC connections — None.
In the neighborhood — Had two games at Temple on 2013 slate, as well as Penn State.
Marissa Surdy to Delaware
If beauty is in beholder’s eye, one look at Delaware seemed to leave Surdy smitten.
“I was really interested in Delaware because the campus was absolutely beautiful,” said Surdy, who said she felt right at home being recruited by Delaware coach Rolf van de Kerkhof. “The coach was very welcoming — I was really drawn to the school because of that.”
It was the net that drew her shots for most of her high school career.
The daughter of John and Sondra Surdy tied for second in the Wyoming Valley Conference with 24 goals, 11 assists and 59 points — and had at least one point in the final 17 games of her high school career. That followed a 2012 season where Surdy scored 51 points on 20 goals and 11 more assists as she finished her final three high school years with a combined 59 goals, 24 assists and 142 points.
“She’s been the leading scorer for us for quite a few years,” Gemski said. “She’s going to take her goal-scoring potential to Delaware.”
Those goals, Surdy figures, won’t come as easily from now on. With her ability, though, they’re sure to come.
“I think, next year, I’ll definitely have to work a lot harder to be a scorer, because the competition is going to be a lot better,” said Surdy, whose sister Sami currently plays field hockey for Kent State. “I think I really thrive under pressure. It makes me play better.”
Nickname — Blue Hens
Conference — Colonial Athletic Association
2013 record — 17-5, reached NCAA first round
WVC connections — None.
In the neighborhood — Lafayette, Bucknell, Penn State and several Philly schools on schedule.
Krupski to Slippery Rock
It seems loyalty was a big key for Krupski when she decided to sign on with the Rock.
“They were always in the running,” the daughter of Kim and Paul Krupski said. “Other schools were recruiting me, but then kind of disappeared - the other teams fell off the map. Slippery Rock was always there.”
That’s actually a pretty good description of Krupski, a talented, versatile player who waited her whole high school career to finally get a chance to start as a senior. When she did, it was mainly as a defender — a position she was unfamiliar with after spending the past few seasons as a reserve forward.
“I feel like I improved a lot as a player, considering I was never playing defense until this year,” said Krupski, who plans to major in exercise science. “Since freshman year, I’ve played everywhere.”
Now she’ll be playing for Slippery Rock head coach Julie Swiney, a former Crestwood player who knows what type of dedication to expect from someone who played for her old high school.
Consistency proved to be the key for Krupski, who blossomed into one of the steadiest defenders in the WVC. Going without scoring stats after she scored two goals in 2012 didn’t seem to matter to Krupski. She was only too happy to stop the rushes of opponents and set up more than a few for Crestwood’s offense, all in the name of a team that went unbeaten into the state finals after winning the 2012 Class 2A state title.
“She was a first-year starter this year, we didn’t miss a beat,” Gemski said. “Kailee is someone who continues to work hard every year. And her opportunity came this year.”
About Slippery Rock
Nickname — The Rock
Conference — Pa. State Athletics Conf.
2013 record — 6-12
WVC connections — Lindsay Brown, junior forward/back from Crestwood; Courtney Lee, junior goalkeeper from Holy Redeemer; Julie Swiney, head coach from Crestwood; Maribeth Chesterfield, assistant coach from Wyoming Valley West (player) and Wyoming Area (former coach); Cortlyn Van Deutsch, incoming freshman from Dallas.
In the neighborhood — Schedule features Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg and Kutztown.