While a right knee injury was hampering her sophomore year of indoor track and field, soccer was constantly on Katie DeShane’s mind.
Would she be able to get back on the field to help her Old Town Coyotes this fall?
That question has been answered in a big way so far, as DeShane, a junior forward, has six goals in three games, all Coyote victories.
“Soccer’s definitely always on my mind and I’m always going to do what’s best for soccer,” DeShane said after leading her team to a 1-0 victory over fellow Class B contender John Bapst Friday.
DeShane attended physical therapy sessions three times a week last winter, and a strong outdoor track season continued to strengthen her knee.
“It has no pain at all really, ever,” she said.
DeShane originally hurt the knee in a bang-bang play at the end of last season in which she took a tumble.
With a clean bill of health, DeShane honed her skills over the summer, attending a soccer camp at Bowdoin College in Brunswick along with teammates Micayla Hussey and Annie Cashon, where they worked with coaches from Syracuse University and Boston College along with the Bowdoin staff.
One thing DeShane worked on was timely shooting.
“I practice as much as I can and I’m working on my aim because sometimes I just shoot it and it goes everywhere, but I’ve been working on my aim and so far it’s worked,” she said.
That is one improvement in her game that coach Chuck Neely has been impressed with so far in the young season.
“She worked on accuracy, picking up corners, working on placement and it’s coming,” he said.
DeShane, also one of the state’s top sprinters and high jumpers, is a tough one-on-one matchup in Class B.
“There’s very few defenders around that has the same speed she has when she has the ball,” Neely said. “If she’s close to somebody, she’s going to be faster.”
If there’s one thing DeShane is becoming used to, it’s the fact she’s going to be marked by multiple defenders up front, but that’s no problem with her.
“If I have two, three girls on me I’m not worried about shooting, I’m just worried about assisting,” she said. “As long as we get the goal and walk out with the win, then we’re good.”
DeShane is one of the reasons the Coyotes appear to be primed for a big season, as she leads a talented cast of juniors and sophomores.
“We’re young, but we’re experienced,” Neely said. “They’re slowly starting to gel together.”
The Coyotes game together when they defeated John Bapst in Bangor for the first time in three seasons.
“You can see the excitement they had,” Neely said.
DeShane’s talented supporting cast includes goalkeeper Ashley Abbott, who played a solid game against Bapst, Kayla Brooks, Cashon, Amy Cossar, Ashley England, Hussey and Meagan Cousins.
DeShane likes her team’s potential.
“We work really hard and we’re devoted and our team is looking pretty good,” she said.