Adversity forces a team to see what it has inside.
North Penn had Lizzy Koerper.
Said Knights coach Jason Grubb: “Lizzy was our primary center and provided great leadership, balance, and stability throughout the season.”
Chosen as Athlete of the Year for Girls Water Polo, Koerper provided a fitting climax to her Knights career.
“Her strength and awareness provides the team with a great balance between the center and perimeter game,” Grubb pointed out. “Lizzy has a strong all around game and was a contributor on the defense and counter attack.”
A First-Team All-State player, Koerper led the Knights all the way back to the state final this year.
“Looking back on the season, I’m extremely happy with how everything turned out,” she said. “At first, not even knowing if we would have a season, to making the state final game, this season was the most unpredictable but exciting for everyone.
“This year, we were only able to play a short amount of 10 conference games,” she said. “We were lucky enough to win all of them and head into the state tournament 10-0. Due to restrictions, we weren’t able to have any tournaments and play teams outside our conference.”
North Penn was still able to raise its level of play.
“We had won two games in the state tournament to make it to the final,” Koerper said. “Unfortunately, we lost 16-15 to a buzzer-beater shot but it was a really good game (against Cumberland Valley). It’s hard playing against a team for the first time with a state championship on the line but my team really stepped up and made it a great game.”
The Knights had come a long way. It was a season that began like no other.
“The pandemic was definitely a huge set back for our team,” Koerper said. “The first couple weeks of practicing, we were outside and couldn’t even get into the pool because of low temperatures. But, we were able to work on land activities to build up our strength and team relationships.
“When we were finally able to go into our high school pool and have games, there were restrictions on numbers inside that meant no fans and limited subs on the bench. At first, it was very difficult in games because we had barely been practicing and our opponents had been in the pool for weeks, but we were able to push through and trust in our ability.”
Koerper enjoys being a calming force amidst the chaos.
“My favorite thing about being a center is the ability I have to see everything that’s going on and direct the rest of the offense,” the senior said. “Being in the middle of the pool, you have the advantage of being the position closest to the goal and have the ball worked around in hope to set it in for a goal.”
She has plenty of water polo left in her.
“I am very excited to continue my water polo career at Wagner College,” Koerper said. “They have a very successful water polo program that I’m excited to be a part of and hope to contribute to their success in the future.”