Carroll freshman stands out in regional final against Maize South
She squared up in the end zone from an angle that looked familiar.
From about 20 yards away Carroll High freshman Khloe Schuckman delivered a screamer into the back corner of the net. It was the same shot she hit against Maize and almost won the City League girls soccer with against East.
"Most of my shots this year haven't really had an angle," Schuckman said. "So it's just another one of those.
Schuckman was the difference in Carroll's 2-0 victory against Maize South in the Eagles' Class 5A regional final Thursday, adding the second goal as well with 15 seconds to play. Where there was pain and worry, Schuckman has provided a coolness in front of goal that has coaches and players trying to project her future.
"She's a gazelle, man," coach Greg Rauch said.
"Nobody will be able to stop her when she is a senior," forward Hanleigh Allen said.
Allen's health was the reason for Carroll's worry. May 4, Allen suffered a season-ending ankle injury in garbage time against Maize. When she delivered that quote Thursday, she was on crutches.
People still pass Allen in the Carroll hallways and ask whether she can come back this season, and Allen has to tell them no. But those questions aren't being asked as often anymore.
Schuckman is a worthy replacement.
The freshman has 11 goals and four assists this season, easily good enough for second on the roster behind Allen's 22. In just Schuckman's past five games, she has four goals and three assists.
"Sometimes as I'm watching the shot develop, I think 'No, no no,' " Rauch said. "But I think I'm being converted into, 'OK, you want to take that shot, go ahead and take one.' She just has a knack. She is putting them on frame, and it's not like they are toe-pokes. She is putting in outstanding shots."
Schuckman is a natural athlete. She started her first season of high school basketball on the junior varsity team, and by the end of the season was starting in the Class 5A final against St. Thomas Aquinas.
In track, she ran the 400 meters in 1:02.07, which would have finished eighth at state last year. That was in her second meet. The track coach, Ryan Biedron, just asked Rauch if he could see how Schuckman would do.
That same day, she scored the game-winning goal against one of Missouri's top teams, St. Teresa's Academy.
Schuckman is the daughter of former Carroll football coach Alan Schuckman. She comes from a highly athletic family, but her rendition is ahead of schedule, and she doesn't seem to notice it.
She is a kid. She doesn't even know which sport is her favorite, she said.
"Usually during the season, I am more into that sport," she said. "But then I just play the next sport."
For now, it's soccer, and her predecessor is helping kindle that fire. Allen has become another coach for the Eagles, especially for Schuckman.
"She stands at midfield with me during practice," Rauch said. "When we have a break, she will crutch over to Khloe and point out the runs she needs to make or the passes she needs to see."
The communication between Allen and Schuckman was always there, but it has spiked in recent weeks, and the youngster said she is thankful to have that, and that gives her and the rest of the Eagles confidence going forward.
"We have a lot of experience winning state championships," Schuckman said. "So we are just ready to go get it."
Carroll will travel to No. 1 Valley Center on Tuesday for the Class 5A quarterfinals.