It will be Kitson’s turn to protect the house in 2019 and secure a third consecutive playoff berth


Ross Genetti, Staff Reporter

Sophomore Connor Kitson is working to make a name for himself on both school and club soccer teams.

This is Kitson’s second year playing on the soccer team, his first year on varsity. Kitson played the role of back up keeper to senior Krystian Serwinski.

Coach Rick Pittarelli remembered, “the game at Corinth Holders where he came in the second half, played through overtime and made some phenomenal PK saves. The best part, this was only the first of many more to come.

Kitson has the same best memory from this past season.

“Probably the win against Corinth Holders: I felt I made a big impact by making a couple key saves in the game and winning the game in PKs while we had a red card,” Kiston said.

Scott Becker, Kitson’s North Carolina Football Club (NCFC) coach has had some great experiences with Kitson over the past year.

“I was lucky enough to go to Manchester, England with Connor. Two moments from this trip really stand out to me. The first one was when we entered Old Trafford together, and I got to see how excited he was to be in such a cool place,” Becker said. “I was just as in awe as everyone else, but just to see the boys so happy and excited was special.”

During the England trip, Kitson was also making a name for himself by playing his best.

“The second moment would be when we were training in Manchester, and a pretty well-known coach from Everton was running the session. I was able to just watch and Connor was killing it. The coach approached me and complemented Connor, saying how he impressed he was with the quality and demeanor,” coach Becker said. “I had a lot of pride in that moment even though I don’t think I’ve had much of an impact at all on his actual development as a keeper. But even still, I was pretty pumped to be able to say ‘that’s right, he is fantastic and we are lucky to have him in the squad.’”

Becker appreciates Kitson’s impact beyond just his on-field contributions.

“Connor leads by example. I think he embraces it and actively wants to lead the team. No one ever questions it either because they know he only wants what is best for the team and will hold himself accountable as well,” Becker said.

Even though Kitson is an underclassman, Becker cites his maturity.

“What makes Connor stand out is his demeanor and attitude. He does get frustrated when he makes a mistake, just like everyone else. But when others make mistakes, he always seems to know the right button to press,” Becker said.

Pittarelli believes that Kitson has an extremely high chance of playing after high school.

“The sky’s the limit. I truly believe he has the ability to play Division 1 soccer, and I would like to say his chances to pursue something after is very likely,” Pittarelli said.

Kitson looks to a certain individual on the big stage for inspiration.

“Tim Howard is my favorite role model because of his leadership and communication skills. He is a player that I have tried to build my game around as if you communicate well and keep your team organized, you will receive less shots and help put your team in a winning situation,” Kitson said.

Howard was the starting keeper for the US Men’s National team for more than a decade before his retirement from international soccer; he currently playing for the Colorado rapids.

Kitson has 12 years of playing soccer under his belt.

“Ever since I was little, I just loved being with the ball, and it always gave me a lot of opportunities to be working with the ball, which I feel has helped me a lot with my growth as a player,” Kitson said.

According to Kitson, the soccer team has developed a unique chemistry, and he is grateful to be a part of it.

Kitson said, “The bond with this Wake Forest team is the best thing I’ve been a part of. I’ve made so many memories so far, and there’s still so much left to this season and the two years after that.”