Amanda Krause's story is typical of so many field hockey goalies.
She went out for her Newtown Middle School team in seventh grade, never having played the sport before.
"I didn't think I was doing so well in the [field player] tryouts because many of the other girls had more experience than me, when the coach asked if anyone was interested in playing goalkeeper," recalled Krauss, now a senior at Council Rock North.
"She told me I was athletic enough to put the pads on. I figured I'd give it a try. We had a good season."
And Krause was hooked on field hockey goalkeeping. She went out for the freshman team at North but was quickly called up to the junior varsity when that team's goalie quit.
"It was more intense playing junior varsity, but it got me ready to play varsity," Krause said.
Indeed it did. Krause has been named The Inquirer's 2010 player of the year in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Three weeks ago, Krause closed out a season to remember when the Indians lost to Hempfield, 2-0, in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals. It was the longest run into the playoffs for North since Krause's freshman year. She was almost single-handedly responsible for the run, although she will deny that strongly.
She was also a steadying influence early in the season. North was 2-2 after four games but went on to win the Suburban One League National Conference championship. One of the early losses was to Truman, a team that did not win another conference game.
"Amanda was just unbelievable this year," said Indians coach Heather Whalin, a former goalie herself. "I was utterly impressed with her."
What particularly impressed Whalin were Krause's 14 shutouts and 90 percent save rate. In seven of those shutouts, the Indians managed to score only one goal. They finished with a 16-7 record.
In probably her biggest shutout of the season, Krause came up huge against Owen J. Roberts, the No. 3 seed in the District 1 Class AAA playoffs. The sixth-seeded Indians battled to a 0-0 tie at halftime, then made Becky Ely's second-half goal stand up for a 1-0 victory.
Krause made 14 saves in the game and faced 17 offensive penalty corners from Owen J. Roberts.
"Owen J. Roberts' skill level was very impressive," Krause said. "When we got up, 1-0, I knew we had to somehow keep the ball out of the cage. Courtney Titus and Kara Le, part of our new defense, stepped up tremendously. There was a lot of pressure on them.
"Our theory was, we had to give our offense enough time to score first. If we didn't score first, we usually didn't come back. Of course, it takes some luck to do what we did, too."
In the loss to Hempfield, which later fell to eventual state champion Emmaus in the semifinals, Krause again came up with 14 saves.
Krause says her speed and height - she's 5-foot-10 - give her an advantage.
"Those high aerials to the corner of the cage, I can reach them," she said. "My speed helps when I have to make save after save, getting up and down."
Although contacted by larger schools with bigger field hockey programs, Krause has applied for early acceptance to the College of New Jersey. She expects to hear shortly. She wants to be an elementary-school teacher.
"I've always been interested in the college," said Krause who has tutored at Richboro Elementary School as part of a school-district program. "It's good academically, has a winning program, and it's close."
College of New Jersey coach Sharon Pfluger said no early-acceptance notices have gone out yet, but she's hoping to get to coach Krause.
"My assistant has seen her play several times, and we're excited about the chance of having her play here," Pfluger said.
Forward Samantha Ostoich Villa Maria Sr.
She scored 16 goals but contributed so much more for the District 1 Class AA champions.
Forward Heather Morris Hill School So.
No sophomore jinx for the Blues' leading scorer. She finished with 26 goals and was one of the top producers in the area.
Forward Gabby Major Spring-Ford Fr.
Major is another young player living up to early promise. She put the ball into the cage 28 times this season.
Forward Kayla Kenney Central Bucks South Sr.
The season ended in disappointment for the Titans, but Kenney was a bright spot. She had 18 goals and eight assists.
Midfielder Lauren Becker Wissahickon Jr.
Becker had 18 goals and 19 assists this season. The Trojans standout has been a starter since she was a freshman.
Midfielder Elizabeth Fedele North Penn Sr.
The big-hitting Fedele is bound for North Carolina. She had 15 goals and 19 assists this season.
Midfielder Madison Harding Central Bucks South Sr.
Another big-hitting presence in the middle, Harding is headed to Villanova to play next season.
Midfielder Brooke Sabia Mount St. Joseph Jr.
The speedster helped take the Magic to the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals before they lost to Hempfield.
Back Kelsey Hiltebeitel William Tennent Sr.
The Panthers' center back was named player of the year in the Suburban One League's Continental Conference.
Back Katie Gerzabek Notre Dame Sr.
Gerzabek has probably played every position but goalie for coach Adele Williams. She plays them all very well.
Goalie Amanda Krause Council Rock North Sr.
With 14 shutouts, Krause played a key role in the Indians' unexpected run to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs.
Pos. Player School Yr.
F Moira Putsch Notre Dame Fr.
F Allie Sabia Mount St. Joseph Jr.
F Caroline Troncelliti Villa Maria Jr.
F Emily Hitchings Upper Dublin Jr.
M Sarah Hospodar Merion Mercy Sr.
M Kelsey LeBlanc Haverford Sr.
M Alexandra Atiyeh Souderton Sr.
M Casey Haegele Central Bucks South Sr.
B Macie Hauck North Penn Sr.
B Rachel Schwab Owen J. Roberts Sr.
GK Julia Boyle Episcopal Academy Sr.
Alphabetic by school.
Maura Campbell, Archbishop Carroll, Sr.; Melissa Remmey, Central Bucks East, Sr.; Colleen Kempf, Central Bucks South, Sr.; Becky Ely, Council Rock North, Sr.; Haley Nelson, Downingtown East, Sr.; Caitlin Walsh, Downingtown West, Sr; Mary Jo Horgan, Mount St. Joseph, Sr.; Helene Caniglia, Radnor, Sr.; Alex Duckenfield, Strath Haven, Sr.; Meghan Murphy, Villa Maria, So.; Meghan Plank, West Chester Rustin, Sr.; Zoe Kale, Wissahickon, Jr.
- Don Beideman