Just as she has done throughout her days at Wyoming Area High School, Aleah Kranson has spent a couple afternoons each week this fall terrorizing Wyoming Valley Conference defenses while piling up goals on the soccer field.
Kranson, however, has added a bit more for her senior year.
The defending conference girls soccer scoring champion has quickly developed into one of the WVC’s most reliable kickers while getting plenty of chances adding on extra points for the unbeaten Warriors football team.
And, Kranson has not slowed down on the soccer field.
“The only concern, I guess, would be lack of sleep,” Kranson said. “With the two sports on top of school and AP classes and extra homework, it’s a lot of time management, but so far, so good.”
Kranson completed her countdown to 100 goals, scoring six Monday against Hanover Area to put her in range to surpass the milestone Tuesday against Pittston Area.
Needing four goals while playing against the arch rival, which is also an opponent from the higher division of the WVC, Kranson went out and got five.
“That was one of my best games all season,” she said. “It was pretty cool to get it against them because they’re our rivals. A lot of the girls on the Pittston team have been on my travel team since I was younger.
“I’ve been playing with them for a long time so that made it real special.”
After being told of where she stood in the preseason, Kranson’s teammates have helped her count down the approach to the century mark.
“Every time I scored a goal, all my teammates knew and they were counting down the goals and the days,” Kranson said.
In the week before she hit the mark, it became apparent the Pittston Area game was a possibility, something that became alternately less and more likely with each postponement and schedule adjustment.
By the time she scored the fourth goal Tuesday for a 5-0 lead with about 15 minutes left in a 6-0 win, Kranson and her teammates were well aware it was the one she had long awaited.
“Carley Yuhas, our center back, won a ball and she cleared it out,” Kranson said. “It hit off one of the Pittston defenders, so it was kind of a loose ball up in the air. I settled it off my chest.”
Kranson cut back to evade a defender and went to her left foot for the shot that she sent over the goalie’s head and into the net.
Encouraging teammates added to the joy of reaching a milestone on the soccer field.
When another Kranson successful point after touchdown – she is 19-for-19 on PATs – is reported on Twitter, word of her latest success travels through social media in mentions from high school soccer and basketball teammates, travel soccer teammates and other who are her opponents in girls sports.
“My basketball teammates and soccer teammates have been really supportive of it,” Kranson said. “They understand how stressful a day can be for me with soccer practice and football practice.
“On Friday nights, when I’m on the sideline and they’re in the stands, they always make sure when they see me go in to kick to scream my name. The support has really been there from everybody — my soccer coaches, my basketball coach, everybody.”
Kranson had the distance but was wide right on her only field goal attempt of the first four weeks, a challenging 42-yarder.
For the most part, when Kranson kicks an extra point, she is not just floating the ball over the crossbar. She booms kicks, many of them right down the middle and some of them soaring above the top of the uprights.
With each extra point she adds, Kranson provides a glimpse to football fans of some of what makes her a success on the soccer field. And, she gives her football coaches reasons to consider more tries like the 42-yarder.
“I tried it, wound up liking it and was pretty good at it,” said Kranson, who gave kicking a try in the spring when athletes from various sports were going through their own workouts and kicking coach Kim Pace asked her to try following a suggestion by fullback/linebacker/kicker F.J. Braccini. “It came to me pretty quickly.
“It’s the same motion as kicking a soccer ball. I remember coach Pace saying, ‘if it’s not broken, we won’t fix it.’ It worked for me, so that’s how I have been kicking it.”
While Kranson has picked up more supporters, the Wyoming Area football team has gained respect from a fellow athlete who has been an established starter on two playoff teams in other sports.
“The average person that goes to a football game might not realize the week starts on Sunday,” Kranson said. “They get one day off a week and it’s a lot of work.”
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