Written by Corbett Smith
Parish Epsicopal, ESD strong in net thanks to Leibs
Leib siblings successfully tend goal for different schools
Emily Leib didn’t want to move to goalkeeper.
She’d been a defender on junior varsity in her first two seasons at Parish Episcopal, and hoped that her move to varsity for the defending TAPPS Division II state champs would be as a ball-stopping defender.
Honestly, she found time in the goal dull — and still does.
“It’s not that fun or exciting as opposed to the other positions,” Leib said.
But on the pleading of Parish Episcopal coach Randy Michaelis and her father, Bruce, she made the switch.
Behind the junior keeper’s steady play, Parish Episcopal (15-2-2) will play Dallas Christian at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the TAPPS Division II semifinals in San Antonio.
Leib said it was the play of her older brother, Kevin, that was the catalyst.
Kevin, one of the area’s top keepers, and twin sister Anna attend nearby Episcopal School of Dallas. Kevin has led ESD to a 13-1-2 season by allowing only four goals all season, two on penalty kicks.
“If anything, it made me want to play keeper more,” Emily Leib said. “He helps me out a lot. I practice with him, and he’s really good.”
ESD boys coach Mark Gardner can vouch for Kevin Leib’s ability.
“He’s the best keeper I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Gardner said.
Kevin — a three-sport star as a kicker/punter in football, and pitcher/shortstop in baseball — has scholarship offers from Missouri-Kansas City and NCAA Division II defending champion Fort Lewis College to play collegiate soccer, . St. Edward’s in Austin is interested as well.
Although reluctant, Emily’s decision has paid off. Her highlight was in one of Episcopal’s few defeats, against nationally ranked Ursuline Academy. Ursuline is the overwhelming favorite at the TAPPS Division I tournament this weekend, aiming for its 22nd straight TAPPS title.
Against Ursuline, Emily made a string of highlight reel saves in a 1-0 defeat.
The Leibs aren’t the only brother-sister keeper combo in the Dallas-Fort Worth area finding success this season.
Chuck and Madelynn Schober are varsity starters for McKinney. Both teams are in the SportsDayHS Class 4A Top 10.
Chuck, a 6-5 senior, was the junior varsity keeper last season, but Madelynn, a sophomore, took a more circuitous route — recruited off the volleyball team by coach Alex Pantarotto.
“It’s been great,” Chuck Schober said. “We come home and swap stories on what we did right and what we did wrong.”