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Girls Soccer: Lemont’s Kelly Fritz at home in goal

Kelly Fritz for Lemont Soccer for Spring PhoDay Andrew High School Sunday March 23rd 2014 Tinley Park | Gary Middendorf/for

Kelly Fritz for Lemont Soccer for Spring Photo Day at Andrew High School, Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 in Tinley Park | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 27, 2014 4:04PM



Kelly Fritz’s goaltending career began with a fluke injury to a teammate.

“When I was 8, playing on my first club team, the Chicago Blast, our goalkeeper wanted to play the field for a game and she got hurt,” Fritz said. “So I filled in for the game and when she got hurt, I just stayed at goalie. I’ve been there ever since. I guess it’s fate.”

It’s sure worked out well for Lemont. Fritz has been in the net for the varsity squad since her freshman year. She was an All-State selection last season and an All-Area performer the past two seasons.

The senior is having her best year yet this season. She’s recorded 18 shutouts and allowed just four goals all season as the Indians take an 18-2-2 record into Tuesday’s Class 2A Lincoln-Way West Sectional semifinal against Providence.

“I’ve been really happy with the way the year’s gone so far,” she said. “My defense is doing really well in front of me. I think we’re playing well as a team and bonding and that’s a big part of it.

“It all starts with my defense and our midfielders controlling the ball. We’re preventing good shots from even happening. They make it easy for me.”

Fritz and teammate Kim Jerantowski — the SouthtownStar 2013 Player of the Year — have been varsity standouts since their freshman year. They’re quite the 1-2 punch, and they’ve developed quite a bond.

“We know each other inside and out,” Fritz said. “I know when she’s having a bad game, she knows when I’m having a bad game. We really know how to get under each other’s skin and encourage each other when we know we need to pick up our game. We’re always there for each other on and off the field.

“All my teammates, they’re like my second family, and my coaches mean everything to me. I couldn’t ask for better coaches.”

The feeling is mutual.

“Kelly’s such a great player and a great leader and it’s been a joy to have her for four years,” Lemont coach Rick Prangen said.

Fritz will continue her career at UIC, where she will be a part of a new program beginning its first season in the fall.

“The campus is absolutely beautiful,” she said. “I love the city. I love the idea of a whole new team and I’m going to be the first goalkeeper ever for UIC. I think that’s really cool. I won’t be far from home, either, so that’s nice. I’d miss my mom.”

First, she wants to end her in Lemont career in style. She has a third-place and a fourth-place state trophy to show for her time with the Indians, and she wants more.

“I need to make sure I end my career the way I know I should end it,” she said. “We need to leave it all on the field and have our last game be our best game.”



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