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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Freshman goalkeeper wins A-10 Defensive Player of the Week

Cappelletti put in a 15 save performance against nationally ranked West Virginia University. PHOTO COURTSEY OF SJU ATHLETICS

Freshman goalie Katie Cappelletti was challenged early in her college career against No. 7 West Virginia, but the first-year player proved she could play with the country’s elite. 

With a 15 save performance, she earned the honor of A-10 Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week. Cappelletti’s 15 saves were only two shy of the single-game school record set by Colleen Corcoran in 1998.

“The game was pretty crazy,” Cappelletti said. “It was definitely intimidating and scary, but we all were ready to take them head on.”

Cappelletti, a New York native, is no stranger to success on the field, winning league, sectional and regional championships four times each in her high school career while also receiving second team All-State Honors in 2019.

“High school really led me to this moment,” Cappelletti said. “Being on a varsity team for four years really prepared me. Going to states every year allowed me to better myself against really good competition.”

Cappelletti spent her offseasons in high school with the Syracuse Development Academy (SDA), a club team in Syracuse, New York. Cappelletti walked away with three state cup championships during her time at the academy. She said that experience was essential in learning how to defend against different styles of play.

“When I was at home playing club with SDA, we always had great training and work ethic two to three times a week with goalkeeper training on top of it,” Cappelletti said. “Playing club and high school really helped me because I didn’t always play with the same girls, and I learned how they played, which was a big factor.”

St. Joe’s women’s soccer Head Coach Jess Mannella said she has nothing but praise for her freshman goalkeeper, noting the difficulty starting against a nationally ranked opponent.

“It’s really hard going up against the seventh best team in the nation,” Mannella said. “She had to go in and have that nothing to lose mentality and play with confidence.”

Cappelletti said the success that her and her teammates have found so far is due to the hard work of the team’s coaching staff. 

“Our coaches are great,” Cappelletti said. “They’re really encouraging and supportive and that’s what this team needs.”

Cappelletti works one-on-one with goalkeeping coach Tori Corsaro, who comes from the Keepers Institute in New Jersey.

“[Cappelletti] is extremely fun loving and energetic,” Corsaro said. “The relationship with her and the other goalkeepers is like nothing I’ve seen before, they’re all super compassionate and encouraging to one another trying to improve each other’s games.”

Cappelletti and the rest of the women’s team began practicing as a unit in February 2020 due to university and NCAA Health and Safety Guidelines amidst the coronavirus pandemic. According to Cappelletti, the team worked to overcome its delayed start to the season and looks to improve game by game. 

“This season has definitely been hard, especially in the fall when we weren’t able to practice together,” Cappelletti said. “I think as a team we’re progressing as a whole.”

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