Pawlak steps right in for Lancaster
In the second game of the season, third-year starting goalie Brooklyn Schilling suffered a season-ending knee injury. That could have meant disaster for one of Western New York’s elite programs – but Pawlak wouldn’t allow that.
She stepped into the starting role and so far, she’s been up to the challenge for the Redskins.
“She really has been doing a nice job filling that role and she’s learning every single game,” Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri said. “She has big shoes to fill and really, all we want her to do is get experience and get better every game. And that’s what she’s doing.”
Pawlak was done an admirable job for the Redskins, winning five of her first seven starts. She’s got a goals against average of 9.40 and has made 78 saves.
“It’s going very well,” she said after making 12 saves in a non-league win over Iroquois. “It’s very challenging, though, but I’m doing the best I can. I wasn’t expecting to get to play as much as I have been, but I’m happy to do whatever I can to help the team.”
Schilling suffered a torn ACL in the second half of Lancaster’s non-league game against Section VI power Webster-Schroeder. After showing considerable improvement in her two seasons at the varsity level and putting in a lot of work in the offseason to get even better, the tri-captain was lost for the season.
“This is a huge loss for us,” Buccieri said after the Webster-Schroeder game. “Brooklyn has worked hard for years to improve her skills and has improved greatly since last season. She is going to step up to the challenge of now leading our team as a captain from the sideline and helping Karli improve.”
Pawlak has done just that. After surrendering 18 goals in her first start against Rochester-area power Our Lady of Mercy, she hasn’t allowed more than 10 in any game since and won four of five decisions.
On a team with a ton of offensive weapons, Pawlak knows she just has to do her part and the rest will take care of itself.
“I just want to do the best I can and make as many saves as I can,” she said. “I want to keep learning and keep being the best goalie I can be.”