By Bridget Letukas
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/16/09
When Kate Smart was a freshman trying out for Archbishop Wood’s lacrosse squad four years ago, coach Chris Aquilino made her an offer she couldn’t refuse: become a goalie and automatically make the team.
Smart, drawing on her experience as a soccer goalie, took Aquilino up on her offer and has become outstanding in tending the goal for 16-2 Vikings squad that begins play Monday in the Catholic League playoffs as the second seed.
Still, spending most of her time protecting the Vikings’ net hasn’t stopped Smart from scoring goals. Occasionally, when sporting a comfortable lead, Smart is relieved of her responsibilities in the goal and permitted to take the field.
“They put me as an attack and let me run around out there,” says Smart, who managed to net goals this spring.
It seems like letting the Longstreth Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week do her thing has paid off in nearly every aspect of her life.
Smart, who also enjoys playing basketball and volleyball, is ranked third in her senior class. In addition, she is a member of her school’s Community Service Corps and the National Honor Society.
She is active in service and volunteer work, taking part in peer-tutoring, helping with Aid for Friends meals, and organizing events for the elderly. As an active member of St. John Bosco Parish, she works with young students and helps to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to needy in her community.
Recently, Smart, received the Presidential Award, a full academic scholarship to Scranton University. One of seven children, Smart follows in the footsteps of her sister, Carolyn, who received the honor as well.
“I saw how well she did,” says Smart, “and that made me want to do that well, too.”
Smart considers her older sister a strong role model and, along with her parents, a source of encouragement.
“She always supported me in school.”
Smart, who will take up the study of business in the fall, will also take the lacrosse field when she steps onto Scranton’s campus next year. For now, however, she’s focused on helping the Vikings aim for a Catholic League championship and a berth in the first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs.
Citing an abundance of speed in the midfield and a strong defensive unit, Smart is optimistic about her team’s chance to win the league championship. The Vikings have fallen to Archbishop Carroll in the league finals the past four years, but Smart is confident this year Wood has its best chance to reach their goal.
“Every year the goal is to make it back to the championship,” she said. “This is the year that we really believe we have a chance to win.”
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