Upper Arlington's Kapusta provides anchor
Years before becoming the starting goalkeeper for the Upper Arlington High School girls soccer team, Katie Kapusta was watching SportsCenter on ESPN with her two brothers and decided on a career.
"They got me hooked," Kapusta said, referring to her older brother Matt and younger brother A.J.
"My ultimate dream is to be an anchor. I'm a sports anchor now for our weekly TV show at the high school. It's exciting. I love it and I'd love to find a niche in broadcast journalism."
Asked to describe her own play this season for the Golden Bears, Kapusta provided a smooth delivery.
"Hopefully, people would say I'm controlling of the net and I'm talkative," the senior said.
"I try to be optimistic and uplifting for my team. I want to be the type of player my teammates can depend on."
The Bears, who closed the regular season with a 3-2 loss to Pickerington Central on Oct. 13 to drop to 5-7-4 overall, will need Kapusta to maintain form if they are to make a postseason run. UA, seeded 17th, played Westerville North in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 16 and, with a win, would play at 14th-seeded Olentangy in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18.
Kapusta recorded six shutouts during the regular season, including four in a row against Westerville North (a 1-0 win on Sept. 8), Central Crossing (a 9-0 win on Sept. 11), Olentangy Orange (a scoreless tie on Sept. 13) and Hilliard Darby (a 2-0 win on Sept. 15). She was averaging 4.9 saves through 15 games.
"This team has confidence that it can pull out wins," Kapusta said. "We have fun and we play as hard as we can. We put it all out there. The big thing for us now (in the tournament) is we can't have any regrets."
UA and Olentangy played to a scoreless tie on Sept. 29, with Kapusta making four saves.
If the Bears advance to a district semifinal, they would play at fifth-seeded Watterson or at home against Logan on Tuesday, Oct. 23. UA did not play the Eagles or Chieftains during the regular season.
If UA advances to a district final, it would play fourth-seeded Hilliard Davidson, Mount Vernon, Teays Valley or Thomas Worthington on Oct. 27 at Canal Winchester.
The Bears lost to Thomas 1-0 on Aug. 28 in their OCC-Central opener and lost 7-3 to Davidson in a league contest Sept. 25. They did not play Mount Vernon or Teays Valley during the regular season.
UA has scored 23 goals in its 16 games and, according to coach Mark Wise, the Bears' low offensive production impacted their tournament draw.
"If we scored four more goals this year, we'd have nine wins and we might be in the running for a top-10 seed," Wise said before the regular-season finale, referring to his team's four ties.
"But playing teams (in the postseason) we've seen before isn't so bad. We know how they play and who they are. But they know that about us, too."
UA concluded OCC-Central Division play with a 2-0 loss to Dublin Coffman, which is the top seed in the district and was ranked third in the state poll last week behind Perrysburg and Beavercreek.
The Bears finished 2-4-1 in the OCC-Central to place sixth, behind Coffman (6-0-1), Davidson (6-1), Olentangy Liberty (5-2), Thomas (3-3-1) and Marysville (2-2-3) and ahead of Central Crossing (0-6-1) and Westland (0-6-1).