Soccer Braves still unbeaten after three starts

Soccer player Claudia Krupicz of St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic Secondary School has already won a Canadian championship in Prince Edward Island, trained in Poland with one of their national teams, and verbally committed to a National Collegiate Athletic Association scholarship in the United States.

In other words, she really gets around. But early in the second half of Tuesday’s (April 30) Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association senior girls’ high school soccer game against the ACMT Jaguars, a pulled hamstring limited some of her mobility. She did not return to action as the Braves breezed past the Jaguars, 7-0, at Redeemer University College to remain undefeated in three starts.

Krupicz received medical treatment while lying face down on the bench. The injury is not believed to be serious.

The Grade 11 student made her mark before the intermission, however, firing five shots on net and scoring the lone goal from a left-footed blast. Alex Parente connected for three of the other Brebeuf goals, while Gabby Krebs (two) and Cierra Torosantucci rounded out the scoring.

Brebeuf's Claudia Krupicz
Brebeuf’s Claudia Krupicz (left) as a member of the Burlington Bayhawks (Tornados).

Krupicz made headlines last October when she won a Canadian Soccer Association Under-16 championship as a member of the Burlington Bayhawks (Tornados) in P.E.I. A teammate on that squad was the tournament’s leading goal-scorer – Andrea Petrina of Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School.

“It was a big deal,” Krupicz said. “It was our first national trip. We got to go all over Prince Edward Island. It was a great time.”

From that experience, Canadian-born Krupicz received an opportunity to train in Poland, the birthplace of her mother and father. She went there for seven days about a month ago, missing the semi-final of Brebeuf’s HWCAA indoor soccer season.

“There was a Polish agent that came looking at our Burlington team, asking if there were any Polish players,” Krupicz said. “Two of us (Krupicz and Burlington’s Danielle LaFrance) got to go. Four of us went, in total. One girl lives in Mississauga and the other is already in university.”

The two-a-day training sessions were held in Poznan, Poland.

Players paid for the flights, but meals and accommodation were provided by the hosts. Krupicz says she was surprised by how friendly everyone seemed to be on the streets.

“I learned a lot,” she said. “I loved it. I got to see how they play in Europe. It’s totally different. We’re going to find out later if we’re invited to another camp or not.”

Brebeuf coach Julie Perri is impressed with Krupicz’s athletic ability. In previous years at elementary school and high school, Krupicz excelled in track and field, basketball and volleyball.

“Right from Grade 9,” Perri said, “I remember saying ‘she is raw talent.’ I’m surprised she hasn’t been looked at by the provincial team or the national program. She has athleticism that far surpasses most females. She never stops. She never tires. She’s always on her game.”

Krupicz has been used at a variety of positions, including centre-midfield.

As for the future, Krupicz plans on attending Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., after next year.

“I’ve verbally committed to Oakland University,” Krupicz said. “I want to play for a university in the States. That’s my first goal. After that, I would either like to play for Team Canada or Poland. But I think I’m going to try to go for Poland. We’ll see.”

Perri’s Braves opened the schedule with a 4-0 victory over Cathedral Gaels and a 2-0 win over St. Thomas More Knights.

“It will be a tight league again,” Perri said. “We’ll definitely be contenders. We have a good group of girls. I can play any one of our players at any time and be comfortable to have them on the field.”

In an earlier senior girls’ soccer game at Redeemer on Tuesday, Bishop Tonnos Titans blanked Cathedral, 4-0, on goals by Maddie Balardo, Chaira Forchielli, Victoria Piccioni and Kira Serafini.