AK Valley high school athletes of the week: Plum’s Kaitlyn Killinger and Deer Lakes’ Michael Sullivan

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 4:24 PM


Kaitlyn Killinger

Class: Fr.

School: Plum

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Killinger scored twice and had an assist for No. 2 Plum in a 4-2 win over Hampton in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals on Thursday. She also was one of six girls that scored in penalty kicks in Plum’s 2-1 overtime win over Gateway in the first round Monday. Killinger had a team-best 16 goals in the regular season. The Mustangs advanced to the Class AAA championship with a 1-0 win over West Allegheny in the semifinals on Monday.

How did it feel to contribute to Plum’s win over Hampton on Thursday?

It felt really awesome to help the team. My first goal tied the game and then the second one gave us the lead.

What has been it been like playing varsity soccer as a freshman?

It’s been great. I’ve been looking for ways to improve as a player and this season has helped. Gina Proviano and Emily Kirkpatrick have helped me throughout every game.

What’s it been like working with first-year coach Jamie Stewart?

He’s always supported me throughout the season and he is a good coach.

Do you have any superstitions or pregame routines?

I listen to same music playlist.

What’s on the playlist?

It’s basically just rap music.

Do you have favorite player from this summer’s USA Women’s World Cup team?

Carli Lloyd. She always finds ways to score or make assists every game.

Do you have a favorite food?

Steak

What’s your favorite school subject?

Math. It challenges me and I like that.

Who are your best friends on the team?

Nina Kite, Kaley Simqu, Cami Collins and Camryn Rogers.

What’s your favorite TV show?

Stranger Things

Do you have any hobbies outside of soccer?

I like to ski. I’ve been skiing for two years. We’ve gone to Hidden Valley and Deep Creek (Md.).

Michael Sullivan

Class: Jr.

School: Deer Lakes

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Sullivan had all four goals last week for the Lancers in their run to the WPIAL Class AA Championship game. He scored a golden goal in a 1-0 overtime win over North Catholic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday and had a hat trick in a 3-0 win over South Park in the semifinals on Saturday. The Lancers face Quaker Valley in the championship game at 8 p.m. Friday at Highmark Stadium.

How does it feel to break through and make it to the final at Highmark Stadium?

It feels great. I can’t wait to get there.

Of the four goals you scored last week, which one do you feel was the best one?

Probably the goal against North Catholic. It was an overtime winner against a really good North Catholic side. Ryan Hanes stood over a free kick about 30 yards out and we told him to chip the ball into the box. Sure enough, he did that and I flicked in on with a header to Scott Rotrauff and he got a toe on it. It dropped to my left foot and I put it in back post.

What has it been like working with coach Dan Yates and his possession style of soccer?

I absolutely love it. We weren’t sure at the beginning of the year how we were going to buy into it, but every single person has bought into it completely. We’re knocking the ball around the field very well. I love the way we are playing with the ball and without the ball.

Do you have any superstitions or pregame routines?

I wear four wristbands during the week and before every game I give them to assistant coach Jake Douglas and he wears them on his left arm. In the regular season, I put them under my shin guards, but in the playoffs, you’re not allowed to have anything extra on the uniform, so I’ve been giving them to him. We haven’t lost since I started doing it, so I’m not going to stop.

Do you have a favorite pregame meal?

The Italian hoagies we get from our boosters. I love them.

Who is your favorite professional soccer player?

Cristiano Ronaldo, because of the way he carries himself and the offseason work he puts in.

Do you have a favorite professional soccer team?

Swansea City. One of our good family friends is a huge Swansea City fan and he got me into them. They haven’t done all that great the last few years, but I still support them.

What’s your favorite school subject?

Anything math or science related has been my favorite since I was growing up and that’s continued into high school.

Who are your best friends on the team?

It has to be Devin Murray and Colton Spence. I’ve grown up with them and since I was 3 or 4 years old, I’ve played soccer with them. I have great relationships with everyone on the team and I do not want to discount anyone, but the atmosphere of Devin, Colton and I playing together that long … I mean it doesn’t get much better than that.

What’s your favorite TV show?

Friends

What’s something interesting that people may not know about you?

I love the outdoors. I like to fish and I like to go camping. Anything that has to do with the outdoors, you can pretty much count me in for it.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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