Senior spotlight: Mt. Lebanon’s Emelia Krakora looks forward to future in lacrosse

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Saturday, April 11, 2020 | 6:01 AM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight a WPIAL spring athlete whose senior year has been cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Emelia Krakora will play competitive lacrosse again. It just might not be until next spring.

A Mt. Lebanon senior bound for Division III Bowdoin College in Maine, Krakora continues to practice on her own during the coronavirus quarantine, biding her time until she can return to the field.

PIAA officials canceled the remainder of the high school lacrosse season Thursday, leaving Krakora and others wondering when they will get their chance to compete.

“I have missed practicing with my teammates, working out, and hanging out with friends,” she said. “However, I am using this time to hone in on my skills and hopefully return to the field better than I left.

“This alone time gives us all the chance to get back to the basics, whether that is remembering the components that go into crafting a perfect shot or practicing defensive footwork.”

How have you been keeping busy during the coronavirus pandemic?

I have been trying to keep in shape by running in my neighborhood, lifting in my backyard and working on footwork. This has helped me maintain a sense of accountability and kept me on a schedule which has made the adjustment a little easier. I have also been playing with my Goldendoodle, Olli, and getting ahead on schoolwork, as well as helping my mom clean and spending time with my siblings.

Have you been doing any lacrosse activities?

It was difficult to adjust to not having team practices, but I play wall ball every day and shoot on the net in my backyard. My older sister and younger brother both play lacrosse, so we are able to get some 2 v. 1 action going. Sometimes we stick my little brother in goal … but don’t tell my mom!

What were your goals for lacrosse season, personally and as a team?

As a team our goal (was) to win a WPIAL championship. Personally, I (hoped) to improve on my stickwork and vary the types of shots I take.

What makes Mt. Lebanon a successful lacrosse program?

Mt. Lebanon is a successful lacrosse program because players lead by example and show our team the virtues of hard work, selflessness and honesty. We also have dedicated coaches who help with the youth teams, which are vital to our program.

How much practice time did you have before the shutdown?

We had two weeks of practice before school was canceled. We were all extremely disappointed because we were improving every day in practice and were excited for our first game against Fox Chapel.

Why did you decide on Bowdoin College?

I chose Bowdoin for the balance between high level academics and competitive lacrosse in coastal Maine. I also love the opportunities Bowdoin offers for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, surfing, and skiing.

What do you plan to study?

I plan to study biology. Bowdoin has a great biology program that includes a research island in the Atlantic Ocean. It seems like this will be a great opportunity to get hands-on experience and learn outside of the classroom.

Will you be playing lacrosse?

I am so thankful that I got recruited by coach (Liz) Grote. She is intense and passionate about her team. The team is super nice and funny, and I can’t wait to join them next spring.

What do you like most about the sport?

I love the intensity and fast pace of the game. I enjoy being on a team and knowing that my teammates have my back when I make a mistake.

How does field hockey compare?

Lacrosse is faster paced, has less back-and-forth play and has more possessions than field hockey.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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