CITY OF TONAWANDA — Great players in any sport have to be a little cocky.
Tonawanda junior Kalyn Compeau is no Muhammad Ali when it comes to swag, but she’s working on it — and that’s exactly what her coach wants. She said it’s the key to her progression on the pitch.
“She’s starting to develop a little of that cockiness that she needs to get to the next level,” said Warriors coach Julie Schork. “That will set her apart from other players on the team and in Section IV.”
Compeau has been great from the moment she played her first game in a Warriors uniform. She was the only Tonawanda player to net a goal in her first varsity game — a sectional playoff victory — as an eighth grader.
Ever since she burst onto the scene, Compeau has been in the limelight. The pressure can be debilitating for a young athlete still learning the game, but she’s always welcomed the challenge.
“It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s pretty cool,” Compeau said of being the face of Tonawanda girls soccer. “It’s hard dealing with the double teams and the amount of people on me, and there’s pressure on me to score — people are like, ‘give it to Kalyn, give it to Kalyn.’ But I tend to handle pressure pretty good. I think I was born with it. It doesn’t seem to stop me on the field.”
Earlier this season Compaeu suffered the first significant injury of her career when she pulled her hamstring. She missed two games but has been on a tear since returning.
She’s netted at least one goal in each of her last five games and recorded a hat trick against Depew in league play on Sept. 25.
“We’ve built our program around her and we saw (how special) she was as an eighth and ninth grader,” Schork said. “She just has this natural ability to put the ball in the net and make great passes. She sees the field and she knows where people are without even looking.”