Rottet makes her mark as a Raider
Kailee Rottet had her goals set long before she stepped foot on a varsity soccer field.
As a nine-year old playing travel soccer, Rottet had tunnel vision looking toward her high school career.
"I was determined to go to college and earn myself a scholarship for soccer," Rottet said. "I was always so interested in the sport and determined to play the game.
"When I became a freshmen, I was really determined to reach all of the goals that I had put in front of myself."
Four years later, Rottet turned her dream into reality as a senior on the Tamaqua girls' soccer team.
In February, Rottet plans on signing a letter of intent to play women's soccer with Binghamton University, a Division I program in New York, and collect a full scholarship to play the game she loves.
The scholarship capped a career that saw Rottet achieve some remarkable numbers.
First, she set the school record for most goals in a game with five. The senior midfielder recorded three five-goal games in her final season.
Secondly, she surpassed the mark for goals in a career previously owned by teammate Ali Updike with 89.
Rottet then accomplished another milestone when she broke Updike's single-season mark for goals (31), setting the new school record at 38.
With all the honors and accolades Rottet has collected over her final campaign with the Blue Raiders, she has the distinguished honor of being named the 2012 TIMES NEWS Girls' Soccer Player of the Year to cap her varsity career. She becomes the second Blue Raider to attain the honor. The last being Updike, who collected the honors back in 2011.
While Rottet got the chance to play with the program's first All-State player in Jess Bessinger, she admitted that it was Updike - another All-State selection - who inspired her the most as a Blue Raider.
"Alison was probably the best thing that could have happened to my high school career," Rottet said. "She set the career record with 88 goals. She really got me determined to do great things. She was awesome to play with those years that I was able to play with her.
"It was great to have someone like her being able to put the ball in the net, but she definitely set the standards of 88 goals. I knew from the beginning of my final year that I really wanted to break the record."
In her final regular-season Schuylkill League game of her career, Rottet was able to accomplish the feat. It was a feat that Tamaqua coach Clem McCarroll deemed nearly impossible for the position in which she played.
Each year leading to the break-out of Rottet, McCarroll knew he had other scorers in Updike and Kayla Hope.
"Kailee didn't need to score early on as much," McCarroll said. "So I kept her at midfield and that was always that debate. Could she be up front or should she be left at midfield? I thought we got more out of her with where she was. Midfielders usually just don't score a hundred goals. That's rare. Usually it's the forwards that score all of the goals.
"She had the unique ability to carry the ball up the field by herself, distribute it and get it back and score. Most of the time forwards rely on someone else to give them a pass and then they finish it off. Kailee was the whole package."
McCarroll saw the talent in Rottet as an underclassmen. Meanwhile, over her career, the four-year varsity player became recognized by many.
Rottet was was honored by the Schuylkill League for a fourth year in a row when she was once again named to the First Team. She also collected her second All-State First Team selection after becoming the first Blue Raider to do so as a junior last season.
"She's a fulltime soccer player," said McCarroll, of Rottet, who also plays club ball with FC Revolution in Reading all year round. "All of the athletes we have had like Hope and Updike, they played basketball and track as well. This girl is purely soccer. She's one of the first soccer-only players that we have had. And, her senior year, she really worked hard because the other years she was simply worn out by the end of the season .
"This year, you could tell she trained and worked hard. She's the type of player once you put her on the field she's all business."
Rottet may have looked up to plenty of Blue Raiders over the years, especially Updike. She left her own mark on the program's history and future players will certainly look up to her.
"All of the girls that I have played with, even the freshmen and the underclassmen this year, have been great," Rottet stressed. "I hope I can be someone they look up to. I tried my best every game. I was determined every game. I tried to set a positive attitude to the team. I tried to never let them get down. Even if we were losing, I never wanted the team to get discouraged.
"I hope they can carry that on. I hope they continue to try and reach goals and try their best to win every game."