MacArthur High School’s Jamie San Filippo, head coach of the girls varsity soccer team, has to remind his star goalkeeper that she’s still a kid.
Shannon Kilian, a four-year starter for the Generals, is the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year, and it’s for a good reason. Thanks to Kilian’s keen hands, she led MacArthur to an unpredictable postseason run all the way to the Nassau County finals last year.
“Shannon is the backbone of our team,” San Filippo said. “She’s an outstanding player. She started on varsity when she was a freshman, and she’s improved every year. She’s exactly what our culture is all about and the type of players we produce. She carries the team on her back when needed, and that was demonstrated last year during our playoff run.”
Kilian started playing soccer when she was 7 years old, immediately emerging as a goalie. By the time she reached the seventh grade, she already began to play on a travel team.
From there, not only did she make MacArthur’s team as a freshman, but she became a starter.
“You just have to keep working hard,” she said. “Like anything you do, you have to do it right. There’s different trainings that I do and I work hard.”
Kilian, as a junior, had 69 saves last year en route to the historic season. And San Filippo believes her uncanny ability will only improve in 2019.
“She worked very hard in the offseason because she was frustrated with some points of her game,” he said. “She came into the preseason this year in the best shape I’ve seen her in since I started coaching her. She’s already had two shutouts in four games.”
But for Kilian, there are other reasons why she believes this team succeeded last season.
“Communication is a big part of this program,” she said. “Anybody can be talking at any time. I gave it my all and I need to work even harder.”
Though the season just started, Kilian already signed her letter of intent to play at Stony Brook University next year. She’ll attempt to stand out on the team led by Tobias Bischof, who just joined the women’s soccer program this past January.
But before Kilian departs for Stony Brook, she wants to win not only the Nassau County championship, but the New York State one as well.
“I think we have the pieces we need to go all the way,” she said.