Q & A with Karalyn LeetzAll-State goalie talks soccer, Torres and ‘The Hangover’
By: Patrick Johnson, South Washington County Bulletin
Last week, Park junior goalkeeper Karalyn Leetz was awarded All-State honorable mention honors. Leetz, a team captain for the Wolfpack girls, played keeper in 13 games for Park, totaling 107 saves out of 117 shots on goal for a .9145 save percentage. Leetz also had five shutouts on the season. She made a season-high 15 saves three times — in a 1-0 win over Northfield, in a 2-1 win over Forest Lake and in a 1-1 tie with Elk River.
We sat down with the Wolfpack’s last line of defense, to find out more about her on and off the field.
Q: What’s your favorite sports memory?
A: The Burlington Soccer Tournament in the summer of ’09. It was the championship game, second overtime with about two minutes left. A foul was called about 10 yards into Burlington’s half and I took the free kick. The ball was perfect, I hit it far side upper 90 and scored the winning goal for us. I got into the Canadian newspaper and everything. It was awesome.
Q: Do you have one individual performance at a game that sticks out as being a great one?
A: The game in Burlington! It was my second career goal as a keeper, and it was to win the championship game.
Q: Do you have one individual performance at a game that sticks out as being a bad one?
A: State Cup of ’09. I came out to clear the ball and hit it into a girl’s back. It had so much momentum, it went back into my own net. It was horrible.
Q: How did you end up playing goalie?
A: I tried out for Bangu about four years ago, and each year my coaches told me I should try out as a keeper. I didn’t want to. Then finally two years ago I decided to take up their advice and that’s how I got started. This is my third season of being all-time keeper.
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A: Hannah Davy and I had a handshake we would do each half. For my Minnesota Thunder Academy team, we usually do Yoga for a while, then get into the center circle to do a little MTA fight club.
Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: Kleetz. Derek Eggert in my English class last year saw that my computer username spelled out Kleetz. He thought it was some good stuff and it just caught on.
Q: What do you like to do off the field?
A: I am really into art. I draw, paint, sketch, just everything. It gets me in trouble in class sometimes, but I can’t help it. I’m in the process of helping paint my boyfriend’s walls too.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show and/or movie?
A: TV show would have to be ‘The Office’. It’s amazingly hilarious. Movie would have to be either ‘Benchwarmers’ or ‘The Hangover.’ Also, they are amazingly hilarious.
Q: Who’s your favorite athlete?
A: Fernando Torres is one of my favorites. Not only is he amazing at soccer, but he is quite good looking too.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team? (besides your own)
A: Spain’s national soccer team. They are amazing, currently FIFA world champions, and Fernando is on the team.
Q: Is soccer your favorite sport?
A: Yes, soccer is my favorite sport. I started when I was 3 and have been playing ever since. I played T-ball for one season, apparently I would sit in the dirt and draw pictures. Wasn’t really my game. I also tried track and field in ninth grade and broke my foot the second day trying the triple jump.
Q: What are your future goals?
A: My future goals are to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, get an art/business degree, play for the Gophers and in the future own my own tattoo shop.
Q: What advice do you have for young soccer players?
A: Keep in mind your future. Do anything you can to further yourself in soccer. Challenge yourself every time you step on the field. Play every game like it’s your last. But don’t forget to enjoy it.