It’s one of the toughest situations in all of sports.
The soccer match is tied and you’re the only one standing in the way of the other team scoring. While many fold under the pressure, handling it at David Crockett is a Snapp.
That’s senior Brooklyn Snapp, the reigning Big Eight Conference and Region 1-AAA goalkeeper of the year.
Last year, the talented keeper faced plenty of the aforementioned situations, but none more challenging than the quarterfinals of the District 1-AAA tournament against Sullivan South. As stormy weather turned a sloppy match into a two-day affair, the contest ultimately came down to a shootout.
In the end, Snapp stopped enough shots where the Lady Pioneers won 1-0 and advanced to the tournament semifinals.
“It was the most incredible game,” she said. “I was incredibly nervous, but I had to block everything out. We were playing for the shootout and we got to it. I knew if the rest of the girls were doing their part, I had to do mine.”
The win helped Crockett achieve a final record of 10-6-3 and served as one of the proudest days ever for Tony Snapp, both as the Lady Pioneers’ head coach and as Brooklyn’s father.
“That happens very seldom in any sport, especially in high school with the timing of it,” he said. “Getting put in that situation, that is a pressure situation and she came up really, really big. I was really proud of her. That was when all of those long, long hours she put in training finally paid off.”
Coach Snapp had an idea how Brooklyn might respond after seeing her make several big saves in an upset win over Dobyns-Bennett earlier in the season.
Still, it was amazing that she was in that position in the first place. It is the tendency of most coaches, whether in youth leagues or at the high school level, to play their kid in a spot where he or she can be the offensive star.
In Snapp’s case, he decided to challenge Brooklyn with the position he played in high school, and a position where you’re the goat more often than the hero.
“She had good hands, so I tried to get her to play in the goal because a good goalkeeper is hard to find,” he said. “She tried it and she really liked it. It’s a position you have to be able to take it on your shoulders because you feel like the biggest loser if the ball goes in the goal. But she has a real good attitude about it.”
Brooklyn added that midfield was more of a natural position, and was where she played as a freshman. The choice of playing goalkeeper came down to it being where the team most needed her.
As for those times when a forward takes dead aim at the goal, those are the moments Snapp thrives on.
“I like the one-on-one situations when it comes down to the nitty gritty,” she said. “I like to be there for my team in that situation and try to get us a win.”
It’s a situation she faces frequently with so many great offensive players in the Big Eight Conference, like Science Hill’s Timbra Delaney and Jennine Duncan of Daniel Boone.
“It’s tough at times, but I have to play every one of them like she’s another opponent,” she said. “You just have to play every game equally.”
There is a tinge of sadness this season for both father and daughter. For both, it is their final year of high school with Tony Snapp announcing before the season this will be his final year as head coach.
In the meantime, he’s still trying to find that perfect balance of being both a father and a coach.
“Coaching your own daughter, it’s easy at times,” he said. “But a lot of times, the other girls will tell me I’m being too hard on her. I try not to be. I want to be a coach on the field and a dad off it.
“Off the field, we talk some soccer, but it’s more about everyday life, growing up and her future.”
As for Brooklyn, she’s enjoyed the time they’ve been able to spend together, on and off the soccer field.
“It’s been great. I was a little skeptical coming into it, how people might take the father-daughter coaching,” she said. “But it’s went really well and has been an awesome three years.”