Rhea Kijowski

Name: Rhea Kijowski

School: Waynesburg

Sport: Soccer

Class: Junior

Kijowski’s week: Kijowski became the second player in Waynesburg High School history to reach 100 career goals during a 9-0 victory over Laurel Highlands in a non-section home match Thursday.

The first to reach that milestone was Madison Clayton, who was a teammate of Kijowski and now plays for Pitt.

At the start of the season, Kijowski needed 23 goals to reach 100 for her career. The junior, who will play at West Virginia University, had a hat trick against Laurel Highlands that put her at that total.

“I wasn’t really counting it down but I did know I needed three goals,” Kijowski said.

She is the second player in a few weeks to reach 100 career goals as Paige Marshalek accomplish the feat for Bentworth.

Kijowski added another goal in a win Monday night and now has 24 for the season. Her next milestone would be catching Clayton, who had 142 career goals.

Kijowski and her sister Jillian would probably each have 100 goals in their careers but the latter missed her junior season with an injury.

“She is closing in on 100 assists,” said Rhea. “For most of our lives, we played on the same teams. We’re very competitive. We’ve always trained together and tried to beat each other at whatever we do. We made each other better soccer players.”

The sisters have propelled the Raiders into a four-team tie for second place at 6-4 in Section 3-AA that will shake itself out over the remaining section matches.

Never a doubt: Kijowski began playing in the youth leagues at age five. While she dabbled in other sports, she quickly decided soccer was the sport for her. She started with the in-house league for Greene County, then joined a travel league and now plays on a club team, Athletica, in Morgantown, W.Va.

And when it came down to choosing a college, there was none of this recruiting process stuff for her. She knew where she wanted to go and was not shy about letting everyone know.

“I committed to West Virginia (two years ago) as a freshman,” Kijowski said. “It’s just verbal. I can’t sign until my senior year. I’ve always been around that program. I just love it. I knew it was on the table. I knew I wanted to go there. I love the facility.”

A 4.0 student, Kijowski is on pace to graduate from Waynesburg one semester early.

Compiled by Joe Tuscano

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