Star striker impresses on the field

FANTASTIC FOOTY: Kayla Picanco led her Loretto College team to the school’s first-ever TDCAA championship.

Goal scorer helped train young recruits

Unlike lightning, Kayla Picanco has a high probability of striking the same spot more than once.

And with electrifying results.

Loretto College’s star striker led her team on both the attack and the fortification in the school’s first-ever TDCAA championship, winning the girls Tier 2 title 2-1 over Monsignor Percy Johnson.

But it was Picanco’s feat of scoring both goals in the first half and then heading between the pipes to shut out her opponents that had coach Maryanne Daniele raining praise.

“She’s definitely a game changer,” she said. “I mean just alone she’s played every position.

“She’s a good athlete and she could probably play more sports but the seasons overlap.”

Picanco’s keen awareness on the pitch led her to pour in at least 80 percent of the Lightning’s goals on the 2010 season.

Admittedly playing on a much younger team, the Loretto vet took it upon herself to help Daniele train those new to the Blue and White.

“This year (Kayla) took on a bit of a coaching role. So I kind of stepped aside and allowed her to run practices and take part in planning the strategy for our game,” she said. “The girls bought into it and they really respect her.”

Picanco’s garnered plenty of attention from footie officials citywide, being considered Toronto’s top 5 student athletes. It’s all part of the ethic she’s absorbed playing the sport since age 8.

“If you work hard enough you’ll achieve what you want and do it,” Picanco said.

There is heartbreak, though. Top-ranked Purdue University out of West Lafayette, Indiana came calling. But Picanco hit a few snags.

“My run with Purdue last year didn’t go so well,” she said. “I was supposed to go this August but my grades in 11 weren’t so good, so I am not going anymore.”

Still that doesn’t rule out any scholarships just yet. Instead of being a Boilermaker she’ll take up the call of the Purple Eagles.

“I am most likely going to go to Niagara University right across the border.”

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