Wall senior Alex Panasuk might not have ever worn the school colors of the Crimson Knights on the soccer field, but there is no doubt she bleeds Crimson.
As a goalie for Wall, Panasuk savored the time playing for her school and soaked up every minute. A four-year starter for the Crimson Knights her career could not have ended any better as a goalie, shutting out Northern Highlands and earning a share of the Group III title after 100 minutes of scoreless soccer. Still there were tears for Panasuk when it hit her she was done playing for Wall and her best friends.
“It was one of the best moments of all high school,’’ said Panasuk, who was voted runner-up for Coast Star Female Athlete of the Year behind soccer teammate Lauren Karabin.
The time flashed by for Panasuk. The Crimson Knights won the Shore Conference title when Panasuk was a sophomore, but the team was still starving for a sectional title as Panasuk went into her senior season. One of the highlights of her season and career was the 4-0 shutout against Steinert in the Central Jersey Group III final on the Crimson Knight home field on 18th Avenue.
The fact that it was the first sectional crown in 18 years won in front of a huge home-town crowd made it a special day for Panasuk.
“Steinert was one of the emotional games,’’ said Panasuk. “We beat them really well and won for the first time in the sectional.’’ Panasuk loved the chemistry and friendships formed from playing soccer with the Crimson Knights and felt that led to success on the field. “We are all sisters,’’ said Panasuk. “We hang out on and off the field. We have such a big connection and that shows on the field.’’
Panasuk will play college soccer in the Fall for The College of New Jersey.
For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.