The shot stops here

Q&a Karen Blocker, Archbishop Spalding, Soccer

October 17, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

Karen Blocker of top-ranked Archbishop Spalding is considered the area's premier girls soccer goalkeeper. The All-Metro goalie recorded her 53rd career shutout in the Cavaliers' 2-0 win over No. 3 McDonogh last week.

Blocker has given up less than a goal a game (0.26) this season and 0.53 for her four-year career with the Cavaliers. She allowed six goals as a junior last year, recording 103 saves and 16 shutouts to lead the Cavaliers to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title and a 19-0-2 record.

Blocker has picked up where she left off last season, leading the Cavaliers to a 14-0-1 record through last week.

She is ranked 21st in her senior class of 273, has a weighted 4.61 grade point average and scored 1,890 on her SAT.

You've got the perfect last name for a goalie, don't you?

I guess it was meant to be. My teammates all play around with my name - Blocker, blocker [teammates say]. It's all fun.

How good is this year's team as you and your teammates attempt to repeat as A Conference champions?

This should definitely be our best team in my four years. We have a lot more depth on the bench.

How old were you when you started playing soccer? Were you always a goalie?

I started playing soccer when I was 6 or 7 years old but didn't play keeper when I was 9 or 10. I started out as a forward. When I was in intramural league, they needed a goalkeeper for a game, and I switched and I loved it. So, I kept playing goalie after that.

How much pressure do you feel as a keeper?

Yeah, there is a lot of pressure, but initially you don't think about that. You just think about stopping the ball. My team is really supportive. They don't turn to me immediately. We win as a team, and we lose as a team.

What is your approach? Do you try to anticipate what the striker or forward is going to try to do?

Sometimes, you can read their body language on where they're going to place the ball. But most of it is instinct coming from practice and training. You just react. On penalty shots, you read the body more than just reaction. There are certain stutter steps or different types of strides that you have to read, and you can typically tell what side they're going to head to.

What are your plans for college?

I'm looking at different colleges. I'm looking at the University of Pittsburgh, Liberty University and Boston University, and hopefully I can play at the school I choose.

What do you feel you have to work on to succeed at the next level?

I definitely have to work on my vertical. I am a short person for a keeper at 5-6. For a goalkeeper, it's a lot of space to cover. And I will be working on my reaction time.

What will be your major in college?

Nursing. It will be real hard, especially with playing a college-level sport.

What piqued your interest in nursing?

I'm on the National Ski Patrol, and that deals with all the first aid on the mountain and ski resorts. I love it. We go through courses, and you have to do 80-hour course and time on the mountain with first aid. You deal with ambulances and all that stuff. And my mom [Mary Beth] is a physician's assistant, so I've been around [medicine] for quite a while.

How much has Spalding helped in your development?

Spalding has a really good academic program and pushes you to work hard. I take AP and Honors courses. It's hard work, but a lot of fun. The people are great there and you couldn't ask for a better soccer team.

What do you like to do for fun?

Go to the movies. I enjoy going to the pool and beach, rock climbing and snowboarding.

Do you have a hero or idol?

My brother Woody.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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