Krondorfer ends career with a happy surprise

Jonah Rosenblum
Kent Weeklies
Emma Krondorfer against Madison her junior season.

The fourth Krondorfer to play for the Greenmen walked away with a mighty big prize.

Second team All-Ohio.

After the girls soccer all-district awards came out, with Krondorfer earning second team, many players eagerly awaited the release of the all-state accolades.

Not Krondorfer.

She wasn't necessarily expecting anything more.

"I was really surprised when I first learned that I earned this award," Krondorfer said. "It's different from being in district and league for sure and I just can't believe that I actually achieved it."

But the truth is if Krondorfer's stats weren't huge (five goals and a single assist), the senior's role was enormous for a consistently strong Greenmen program.

"Emma was an integral component to our attack and defense," Aurora second-year coach Domenica McClintock said. "She served as the connector between our attack and defense, creating opportunities and then helping to defend any chances by the opponents."

A longtime midfielder with the ability to swoop in and help on the attack or the defensive end, Krondorfer embraced her role.

"I tried to be a connector every game but I also tried to be an organizer," Krondorfer said. "Just telling people where to go, playing the ball in the right areas, so we can all succeed together as a team and drive forward with the ball."

Clearly, she played her role well, as the Greenmen put up an impressive 4-2-0 mark in the always challenging Suburban American.

While Aurora's overall mark (8-8-2) seems less impressive, half of its losses were to district champions (Kenston, Revere, Twinsburg and West Geauga) and it also fell to a district runner-up in Chagrin Falls and tied another district runner-up in Streetsboro.

"Going into senior year, the seniors and I collectively had this goal to make it a memorable year both on and off the field," Krondorfer said. "I think on the field we really accomplished that with, yes, our successful conference standings, but also how far we made it in playoffs and all the memories we made throughout the season." 

The Greenmen played their best ball toward the end of the year, including that 2-2 tie against Streetsboro, back-to-back wins against Padua and Copley and a postseason victory over Bay. Krondorfer was a huge part of all of that.

"Emma played with poise, control and ultimate technical skill," McClintock said. "(She) allowed possession to build and opportunities to occur. She will be missed next year and has left big shoes to fill."

While serving a connecting role for the Greenmen, Krondorfer maintained her own longtime connection to the beautiful game. Krondorfer has played soccer for 13, 14 years, following the path of her three older siblings, all of whom played for Aurora.

Interestingly enough, Krondorfer said that her parents didn't play soccer, but somehow all of the kids played, so that by the time it was Emma's turn, there was no question that she would take the pitch as well. And she loved it from the start.

"I liked it right away," Krondorfer said. "I remember that. I just couldn't wait to go play again."

Needless to say, there were bumps along the road.

"I remember freshman year soccer at the high school level, I made varsity, which was very, very exciting, but I didn't get a lot of playing time so there I was a little disheartened," Krondorfer said. "Then in club, of course, there are ups and downs, losing starting positions, being bumped down teams and all that."

But she never lost her love for the game, boosted by her parents, without whom she "would not have been able to achieve anything," she said. And so, even as she plans to focus on academics at Ohio State, there will always be a place for soccer.

When asked if she would play club soccer in Columbus, there was never a doubt.

Just like when she first started playing soccer nearly a decade and a half ago. 

"No, I'm not ready to give it up yet," Krondorfer said. "It was just such a big part of my life. I couldn't imagine going on without it."