Quaker Valley athlete of the week: Lily Johns

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 11:19 AM

Lily Johns

School: Quaker Valley

Sport: Soccer

Class: Junior

Lily Johns wasn’t supposed to lead Quaker Valley into the last season’s playoffs as the goaltender, but a series of injuries changed the team’s plans.

Her unexpected, but successful transition from midfielder to playing in net convinced coaches, and Johns, that she should continue put in work at goalie.

The move has paid off with a pair of shutouts in the team’s first two section games this season.

Why do you enjoy being a goalkeeper?

As weird as it sounds, I love the training sessions. One of the boys varsity coaches, JJ Veshio, has worked with me a lot on perfecting my technique, how to get to balls and all the basics since I’m still fairly new to it. I love working with him and all of our defenders, because they’re all so encouraging.

How confident are you after completing two shutouts to start section play?

It’s really encouraging. I don’t want to say I’m surprised and I don’t want to brag, because the team around me is amazing. We’re very strong defensively, and that has played the biggest factor in our shutouts. It’s a great feeling. There’s really no better feeling.

Who has returned at center and outside back that you know you can count on?

On the left outside is Grace Shaner, and she is a junior. On the right outside is Fiona Benge, and she’s a senior. Inside are Catherine Mueller and Juliana Helkowski, they are juniors. The four of us that are juniors have played together since rec league in kindergarten, and Fiona is also a really good friend. Our communication is always good, and we’re all really close.

What are your individual and team goals this season?

They kind of go together. We want to have a lot of home wins and home shutouts, and we want to go as far as we can in the WPIAL playoffs and hopefully state playoffs. Individually, again, shutouts. I want as many as I can get. I have high expectations for myself, so if I could even be all-section goalie that would be the cherry on top of everything.

Who is your favorite professional soccer player?

This is a really tough one. I have a lot of favorites on the men’s and women’s side. I’d have to go with one of the women and not just because she’s a goalkeeper. I’d say Hope Solo, because her story is incredible. I look up to her a lot.