Ladybirds’ Robinson lands in goal for Louisburg
Mark Cone | Contributed photo
Southern Nash High senior Kathryn Robinson, center, sits with her parents, William, left, and Janet Robinson of Spring Hope after signing to play soccer at Louisburg College.
From the time she was put in goal during a recreation league soccer game as a youngster, Southern Nash High senior Kathryn Robinson knew that was the place for her.
After a stellar career at Southern Nash in which she was named to the All-Big East Conference team four times, Robinson is going to stay “between the pipes” after signing with Louisburg College of the National Junior College Athletic Association earlier this month.
Robinson, who was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman in 2018, said she wasn’t looking at colleges in terms of soccer, since she hadn’t received much recruiting interest.
“I was kind of looking at N.C. State, because they have an engineering program,” she said. “I wasn’t really specifically looking at any schools because of soccer.”
But when Hurricanes head coach Chris Fresco offered her a chance to play at Louisburg, Robinson happily took advantage of it.
“I really enjoy that it’s such a small school. It’s close to home,” said the daughter of Janet and William Robinson of Spring Hope. “It only takes like 20 minutes for me to get there.”
Robinson said she planned to major in engineering, although she’s not sure where her focus will be. She does know that on the soccer field, her focus will be in goal. Robinson said she started playing soccer around age 7 and one game, she was having trouble keeping her breath while running around on the field and, with her youth team short of players, her coach put her in goal.
“And then I just loved it from there on,” she said.
What does she like the most about playing goalkeeper?
“First of all, it’s amazing not having to run across the field!” she said with a laugh. “It’s like I used to play, like, baseball and softball, so it kind of gave me a little bit of both worlds where I can use my hands and stuff.”
She’s been the anchor of the Ladybirds defense since her freshman season when Southern Nash finished 0-18 before going 9-9 her sophomore season. Southern Nash won five of the six games it played before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the 2020 season. This spring, the Ladybirds finished 7-4 and in third place in the Big East.
“She’s just been like a rock for us,” said Robbie Kennedy, the Ladybirds head coach since 2019. “I knew she was good when I took over the soccer job. She’s been steady. ... In the game against Hunt (a 1-0 loss to the Big East champion), she made four or five unbelievable saves to keep us in it until the end.”
Robinson, who has played for Wilson Youth Soccer Association and North Carolina Football Club teams, said her strength is stopping shots, but she needs to improve on her ability to distribute the ball after the save.
“I’m better at making saves than say, like, putting it to a specific person,” she said.
Robinson is also in rare company as a girls soccer player at Southern Nash playing at the college level. The last Ladybird to do that was Leticia Cantera, who signed with Louisburg as a senior in 2016 before finishing her career at UNC Pembroke. Cantera helped Kennedy coach during the 2019 season.
“It’s awesome! I love it,” Robinson said.
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