By Rob Centorani
Taking the easy way out has never been Karsen Shultz's style.
One need only look to her major in college and future employment plans to see that.
She'll major in bio medical sciences at Marist, beginning this fall. She wants to become a doctor who treats kids with cancer.
"Because I was in the New Visions Program, I love kids and love working with kids," Shultz said. "The oncology center is the most upbeat place in a hospital. The kids have terminal illnesses, but they're so happy they're still living. They fight until the last second and I want to be someone who can help them do that."
Shultz showed some fight of her own on the soccer field.
Last fall, she led Oneonta High to a 19-2 season and its first state playoff victory since 2004. Shultz finished with 20 goals and 13 assists en route to being named a Second Team All-State selection in Class B. She'll play Division I soccer for Marist this fall.
For her performance in 2011, Shultz has been named The Daily Star's Player of the Year.
"(Shultz) gave us flexibility," said OHS coach Jerry Mackey, The Daily Star's Coach of the Year. "She was a dynamic goal scorer and had the ability to play forward or midfield. Over the course of the last few years, she could mark the other team's most dangerous offensive player in stretches. She's a great kid as far as keeping teammates' confidence up and setting the tone overall for the program."
Mackey said _ outside of goalie _ Shultz played every position during her four varsity seasons.
"I don't artificially pick captains," Mackey said. "I think leaders of teams just emerge and take that upon themselves. When somebody is recognized by their peers as leaders in the program, somebody who'll play outside attack, center mid or far outside right back, and is not saying anything and just going about their business, that says a lot.
"From the modified on up, we want soccer players and then we'll put the pieces together," he continued. "You can't have 17 left wings. Just learn how to play soccer and you'll succeed. She did that at all three levels."
Shultz said she embraced the challenge of playing various positions.
"I actually loved it," said Shultz, a Fourth Team all-state pick as a junior and the first OHS player to be named The Daily Star's Player of the Year since Lindsey Doxtader earned the award in 2007. "It's something I loved about soccer. I felt I could be utilized all the time. I didn't have to be a goal-scorer all the time. I could help out because we had Cami (Cleaveland) at striker, Dani (Nicosia) at midfielder and Shelby (Cleaveland) in the back. It was an honor to trade in and out of positions."
Her strong leg and physical style are traits Mackey said should help her at the next level.
"From an athletic standpoint," he said, "because she was physically stronger or because of her aggressive nature, on a 50-50 shoulder charge where the other girl would fall down, that's a whistle in high school, but in college that's a play-on. Some girls have to adjust to that portion of the game. That physical element will free her to let her skill set come out.
"I think she has a college leg," he continued. "She can really hammer the ball _ turn on it and just drive it."
Perhaps the aspect that best displays Shultz's willingness to take on challenges were the feelings she expressed toward Mackey. The vocal and demanding coach sometimes rubs players the wrong way.
Mess up with Mackey and you'll get immediate feedback, often in a loud fashion.
Shultz said tongue-lashings didn't bother her.
"The thing that comes to mind is Mackey is like my second dad," she said. "He's someone who'll push you until your limit and not let you quit. I love him for everything he has done. He taught me to be the best player I can be. He's screaming at you because he cares. He yells at you because he knows you can be better. He'll give you a halftime speech that makes so scared of him, but that's I what I love about him. He knows you can be better and when you walk off the field, he's the first one to give you a high-five. He's the best coach I've ever had.
"He's definitely my second dad," she continued. "You can go to him with anything _ relationships, soccer or school _ and he'll always be there for you."
The Yellowjackets' balance stood out this past season, when OHS won its first Southern Tier Athletic Conference title since 2003 with a 1-0 victory over Vestal on a goal by freshman Brieanna Baker; defeated Seton Catholic Central, 3-0, to win its first sectional title since 2004; and cruised past Section Nine's Spackenkill, 4-1, in a Class B state first-round game _ its first since 2004.
In addition to Shultz's contributions, Daily Star First Team selections Nicosia (18 goals-nine assists), Cami Cleaveland (18-13) and Mariah Ruff (4-14) gave the Yellowjackets multiple offensive options.
"We had good athletes and we had good soccer players at all positions," Mackey said. "When you're playing, you feel very confident, you feel you'll have somebody who'll answer the call. On attack, we had four or five girls capable scoring 15 goals. If you put your best girl on Karsen and your second best on Dani and your third best on Cami, then you'll have your fourth best on Mariah. Eventually, you run out of people who'll match up."
Though the season ended with a 1-0 state quarterfinal loss to defending state champion Bronxville, the future is bright at OHS.
From the starting lineup, OHS will have everyone back aside from Shultz and Brianna Georgia, along with talent coming up from a JV squad that won the STAC title.
"For us to win the STAC title and the Section Four title, as they look back on that time period, whether they played 27 minutes or 47 minutes in a game in October, they honored the Oneonta soccer legacy that started decades ago, on and off the field," said Mackey, selected for the second time as The Daily Star's top coach in girls soccer _ the first coming in his initial season of 2004. "Now, it's somebody else's turn."
Rob Centorani can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.
DAILY STAR GIRLS SOCCER FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS
Jordan Beers, Franklin sophomore
Carolyn Butler, Walton senior
Cami Cleaveland, Oneonta junior
Sarah Haight, Davenport sophomore
Emily LeBoffe, Morris junior
Molly Maguire, Walton senior
Sarah Mannina, Unatego junior
Dani Nicosia, Oneonta junior
Mariah Ruff, Oneonta sophomore
Kelsea Webster, Morris junior
DAILY STAR GIRLS SOCCER ALL-STARS HISTORY
Players of the Year
Year, Player, Team
2011, Karsen Shultz, Oneonta
2010, Molly Maguire, Walton
2009, Kori Hamm, Edmeston
2008, Kori Hamm, Edmeston
2007, Lindsey Doxtader, Oneonta
2006, Brenna Campbell, Milford
2005-x, Alexa Henderson, Downsville
2005-x, Courtney Hoyt, Downsville
2004-x, Breanna Gault, Oneonta
2004-x, Eileen Coyle, Oneonta
2003, Mara Primmer, Oneonta
2002, Mary Velan, Stamford
2001, Melissa Pidgeon, Oneonta
2000, Brooke Davis, Stamford
1999, Moira Dwyer, Cooperstown
1998, Lindsey Smith, Margaretville
1997-x, Kristen Konstanty, Oneonta
1997-x, Kelly Sosa, Oneonta
1996, Kelly Sosa, Oneonta
1995, Liz McGrail, Stamford
1994, Ellen McGrail, Stamford
1993-x, Meghan Arquin, Cooperstown
1993-x, Ellen McGrail, Stamford
1992, Kelly Lawrence, South Kortright
1991-x, Allison Terry, Oneonta
1991-x, Jennifer Wright, Davenport
1990, Laurie Darling, Roxbury
1989, Colleen Ferris, Stamford
1988, Jenn Nesbitt, Oneonta
1987, Theri Jo Snyder, CV-S
1986, Sue Dubben, CV-S
1985, Lynn McCruden, Worcester
1984, Kim Campbell, Downsville
1983, Sherri Dubben, CV-S
Coaches of the Year
Year, Coach, Team
2011, Jerry Mackey, Oneonta
2010, Chris Saggese, Milford
2009-x, Sue Herodes, Unatego
2009-x, Ray Preston, Davenport
2008, Melanie Mumbulo, Edmeston
2007, Melanie Mumbulo, Edmeston
2006, Jennifer Pindar, Cooperstown
2005, Burt Reed, Downsville
2004, Jerry Mackey, Oneonta
2003-x, Helen Sandford, Oneonta
2003-x, Jim Kenyon, Worcester
2002, Dan Cohen, Margaretville
2001, Helen Sandford, Oneonta
2000, Kim Green, Schenevus
1999, Lisa Ann Cherubin, Cooperstown
1998, Dan Cohen, Margaretville
1997, Jo-Ann Diamond and Jane Martin, Jefferson
1996, Sue Herodes, Unatego
1995, Jeff Gearhart, Stamford
1994, Jeff Gearhart, Stamford
1993, Lisa Ann Cherubin, Cooperstown
1992-x, Bonnie Denison, South Kortright
1992-x, Helen Sandford, Oneonta
1991, Jeff Gearhart, Stamford
1990, Bonnie Denison, South Kortright
1989, Jim Kenyon, Worcester
1988, Helen Sandford, Oneonta
1987, Frank Miosek, CV-S
1986, Jane Flannery, Downsville
1985, Jean Payne, Worcester
1984, Frank Miosek, CV-S
1983, Frank Miosek, CV-S
By Rob Centorani
- Local Sports
Outlaws have 1-1 weekend
The Oneonta Outlaws split a pair of games against squads from Geneva this weekend in New York Collegiate Baseball League play.
Stallions stun three-time defending champs, 37-34
Can you name the only Northeastern Football Alliance team to beat the Troy Fighting Irish? Before Saturday, that was a trick question.
Summer College Baseball Standings
Local Running Results
- Sunday, June 16, 2013
Hancock junior ties state baseball record
- Saturday, June 15, 2013
Outlaws down Chiefs, 4-1; Hawkeyes fall on road
Despite stranding 15 baserunners, the Oneonta Outlaws earned a 4-1 New York Collegiate Baseball League victory over the Syracuse Jr. Chiefs on Friday at Damaschke Field.
Summer College Baseball Standings
- Friday, June 14, 2013
Don't play around with snappers
The other day, I was driving along Route 205 between Mount Vision and Hartwick. Suddenly, I had to swerve out of my lane to miss a huge snapping turtle. It was crossing from a large swamp on the left to some higher ground on the other side of the road.
Outlaws rained out again
Poor weather is catching up with the Oneonta Outlaws. Steady rain Thursday forced the fourth postponement of the New York Collegiate Baseball League season for the Outlaws, whose game at the Syracuse Salt Cats was moved into a road doubleheader that will start at 3 p.m. June 23. Both games will be seven innings.
Area Sports Briefs
- Thursday, June 13, 2013
Oneonta Legion rallies to beat Sidney
Collin Neer's single that one-hopped the fence in left scored Josh Garufi with the winning run as Oneonta Post 259 defeated Sidney, 4-3, in eight innings Wednesday in a Legion baseball game at Oneonta High.
Area Sports Briefs
High School Softball All-Stars
- Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Outlaws, Hawkeyes postponed
For the second straight night, rain forced the postponements of games involving the Oneonta Outlaws and Cooperstown Hawkeyes.â€©
- Outlaws have 1-1 weekend