By Janee Law
Stephanie Rapp, a defender on Northport High School’s girls soccer team, was recently named to National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School Girls Soccer All-East Region team.
The high school senior said she was surprised when she heard the news last week.
“I didn’t even know about this or that I would be up for the running,” Rapp, 17, of Northport, said.
Rapp, who played center-back for Northport, earned several awards this season for her performance on the soccer field. They included All-State and All-County honors, and Player of the Year in Suffolk League II. She helped guide the Lady Tigers to Suffolk and league championships.
Rapp’s coach, Aija Gipp, said she was “incredibly proud” of all her senior’s accomplishments.
“We could not have won the county championship without her,” Gipp said.
As a child, Rapp looked forward to when it would be her turn to join the Lady Tigers at the varsity level, she said.
“You look up to them,” she said. “It’s just an honor to play for Northport. It’s a great community and team overall.”
Rapp’s opportunity to play for the high school came when she was a freshman. She started off her varsity career on offense as a forward, but transitioned to defense for her remaining three years on the team.
In the three years she lined up on defense for Northport, the team surrendered just 13 total goals. Rapp was Northport’s “anchor” on defense, Gipp added.
“She plays with more composure than any player I have ever coached. She has been the anchor to our defense for the past three years and is going to be missed in the years to come,” Gipp said.
The NSCAA’s All-East Region team is selected from the pool of All-State players in any given year. There were 10 defenders chosen for this year’s team.
Rapp said “it was an honor to be one of the few defenders.”
Rapp said she loves the sport and loves that it introduces her to so many new people. On the field, she said, she loves taking control on defense in order to make sure “everything is running properly.”
The Lady Tiger’s soccer career started when she was 4 years old, she said. Along with Northport’s varsity team, she also plays for travel team Brentwood Freedom.
After graduation, she is set to attend St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia next fall. She earned a scholarship to the university and plans to continue her soccer career there.