Craig For a high-caliber athlete that isn’t afraid to launch her body across the 24-foot width of a regulation soccer goal and slam into the ground without a trace of hesitation — a goalie who just Monday signed to play for Hesston College in Hesston, Kan. — recent Moffat County High School alumna Skylar Tripp is kind of shy.
After officially signing her name to the Hesston Larks’ Women’s Soccer roster, the 18-year-old smiled at the carpet and quietly recounted her jaw-dropping 411 saves during her senior season.
“Goalies shouldn’t have that many goals in a season” Tripp said. “Period.”
Playing since she was only 5 years old, Tripp became a goalie by accident when, while playing as a defender, she developed Osgood-Schlatter Disease, a relatively common malady for adolescents who have a high level of athletic activity.
“I had problems with my knees and they hurt all the time,” Tripp recalled. “The doctors told me to stay off it and take it easy, but I still wanted to play, so I got into playing goalie and liked it.”
Don’t be mistaken, though, being a goalie is far from pain-free.
“I’ve had bloody noses, a concussion. I’ve been kicked in the neck and face and stomach and in the ribs. I’ve been kicked everywhere,” Tripp said, unable to recall the number of times she’s been hurt on the field.
“You have to have that drive. It’s a big commitment and it takes total dedication and hours of work,” said Tripp’s goalie coach Susan Turner. “People don’t realize the mental challenge of this, either. As a goalie, you tend to get blamed for lots of things and that can be really hard on you.”
Almost all of Tripp’s athletic career has developed under the guidance of her inspiration, head coach and father Harry Tripp, who is expertly aware of his daughter’s talent.
“The one thing me and (Hesston College women’s soccer head coach Bryan Kehr) sat down and talked about over lunch was the hole (Skylar’s) absence would leave,” on her high school team, he said. “She’s definitely got some big cleats to fill, and they won’t be easy to fill.”
Skylar Tripp admits that it will be difficult and probably strange at first to play without the teammates she has grown up with and to adapt to an unfamiliar coach, but anticipation outweighs any fear.
“I’m not really nervous about going out (to Kansas) because I’m just really excited,” Tripp said. “I’m excited to see how soccer’s played at the college level.”
Andie Tessler can be reached at 970-875-1793 or atessler@Craig
Andie Tessler can be reached at 970-875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.