Varsity goalie Ethan Kornas aims for college offers

Courtesy+of+Ethan+Kornas

Courtesy of Ethan Kornas

Kate Alvarado

Varsity goalkeeper Ethan Kornas stood in the goal box, watching as the seconds on the scoreboard ticked away. In the past, Huntley’s boys varsity soccer team did not have the best track record, but now they were playing at regionals and victory was within their grasp.

“There wasn’t a point in my mind where I didn’t think we were going to win,” Kornas said. “We had them the whole game.”

As soon as the clock hit zero, they knew the win was theirs. Kornas sprinted down to midfield with the rest of his team to celebrate the long awaited victory.

“It’s not that big of a deal considering everything else that could’ve been, but it meant so much more than just a plaque for us,” Kornas said. “At the start of the season, our expectation was to get more wins than losses. After accomplishing that and also winning regionals, it basically felt like a state title for us.” 

Making varsity his freshman year, Kornas had been working towards this moment for years. Now a junior, his ambitions reach past the regional victory and towards a much more vigorous competition: college offers.

With the uncertainty that COVID-19 brings going into this upcoming soccer season, Kornas is forced to shift his focus towards Eclipse, a club soccer team that offers its players exposure to college recruiters. While he has been playing there for the past three years, he now practices twice a day to stay in shape during this never-ending quarantine. 

“It’s a much more intense environment, but at the end of the day, I like high school soccer better because it’s more fun since there’s not as much stress,” Kornas said.

Despite the fact that Kornas has been unable to play since March, his tendency to overwork himself has not changed. 

“He’s a really hard worker and doesn’t like messing up in practices or games,” junior midfielder Thomas Rodriguez said. “He tries to perfect whatever he can.”

To combat this, Kornas tries to take care of his body to avoid injuries.

“I do a lot of recovery,” Kornas said. “Whether that’s stretching after practice or taking an ice bath when I get home because I’m always giving 100% at everything that I do.” 

As much as his competitive nature strains Kornas physically, it pushes him to keep improving no matter the circumstances. Varsity coach Edward Philpot has experienced this firsthand. 

“Our training consists of a lot of competition,” coach Philpot said. “Sometimes it’s just me trying to score on him and him trying not to let me. I believe that the competitiveness we have with one another really helps him push himself. If we’re playing any kind of game, he does not like to lose and neither do I.”

The drive and determination Kornas has will take him far, but it is the passion and love he has for the sport that will guide him towards his goals. All he needs to do is keep working towards it.

“Ethan has the skills, he has the tools, and he has the opportunities to rise up, be a leader, and be a prominent player,” coach Philpot said. “If he continues to work hard, he could end up being one of, if not the best, goalkeepers in the conference. There’s a lot of time between now and who he’ll end up becoming as a senior, but as long as he works hard, continues to grow, and [keeps] his heart in it, he can accomplish a lot and have the skill set to continue playing in college.”