A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Deer Lakes’ Brooke Kostyak

Monday, October 2, 2023 | 10:26 AM

Brooke Kostyak is an unconventional goalkeeper of sorts.

Typically, soccer goaltenders need to be vocal to communicate with their defense to help prevent goals, but Kostyak is of a quiet nature and her coach believes it doesn’t hurt Deer Lakes in the slightest.

“We’ve gotten used to it. She has improved on her vocality, talking a little more out there,” said coach Frank Accetta.

“But that’s just the way she is. A quiet kid. She comes out and plays hard, and that’s all I can ask.”

Kostyak spent the offseason working on being more vocal, but it’s her hands that speak the loudest on the pitch.

“As a goalkeeper, I think she has tremendous hands,” Accetta said. “The ball hits her hands and just sticks. It’s a rare occasion when she gives up a rebound.”

Whether she’s vocal or not, Deer Lakes has done well so far this year, even though the Lancers have been hovering around the .500 mark.

On the season, the Lancers are allowing an average of 2.5 goals, with the most they’ve allowed coming in the season opener against Springdale.

The Lancers started out 0-2-1 but had a stretch from Sept. 3-18 where they went 4-1-1 and pulled off section wins against Apollo-Ridge and Valley.

After back-to-back losses to Knoch and Armstrong, the Lancers were 4-4-2 overall and 2-3 in Section 2-2A.

They are still in position to make the playoffs as they are currently fourth in their section and the top four teams make the playoffs.

Kostyak took a few minutes for a Senior Spotlight Q&A session:

Last year, you guys missed the playoffs, and I’m sure a goal this year is to get there. What is it going to take for the team to make the postseason?

We struggle to get goals. We need to work more as a team to manufacture goals and shoot whenever we have time and space to do so.

What’s the mindset of a goalkeeper?

It’s hard because no matter how you perform, if the team loses, you look at yourself because, ultimately, you’re the one who let in a goal to win the game.

Have you played goalkeeper your entire playing career?

I’ve been a keeper since U10, so yeah, pretty much my entire time playing.

Your coach said you have pretty solid hands for a goalkeeper. Is that something you’ve been working on?

My gloves are the biggest part, but I’ve been working on not dropping the ball when it’s hit really hard right at me. Definitely something I’m continuously working on.

You guys started 0-2-1 but put a nice winning streak together to get to 4-2-2. What did it take to get those wins, especially since section play began in the middle of that stretch?

Teamwork. We’re a pretty young team for the most part, and the beginning of the season was hard because we had to learn how to work together to score.

How have you gone about leading your younger teammates?

Just telling them not to be frustrated after making a mistake. Listen to the seniors and juniors. We’re not going to criticize you; we’re going to help you learn and grow from it.

Last year, you were selected as an all-section selection. How did that feel?

It felt really good to be recognized because I wasn’t expecting it.

What would you say is your greatest strength?

Catching the ball close to me off a free kick and not having to fully lay out for it. I’m good at coming out and tackling the ball.

What were you looking to improve upon going into the year?

Talking more. Communicating more with my teammates, being more vocal.

Have you made a decision on college?

I’ve been going back and forth on whether I’m going to go to college, but I do know that if I go, I definitely want to play soccer.

What’s a fun fact about you that would surprise people?

I really love having fish as pets. I have three aquariums in my room.

What’s a piece of advice you’d want to leave your teammates before you graduate?

Learn to work as a team. Even though you do things individually, you have to work as a team. Do the best that you can.


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