Geiger, Ragdolls pick up win in state tournament

Rebounding off helping the Ragdolls soccer team win a game in state playoffs, Ryan junior Cait Geiger is already gearing up for basketball.

Led by Cait Geiger, Ryan advanced to the second round of the PIAA Class 3A tournament. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Cait Geiger is always on the move.

Geiger, a junior at Archbishop Ryan High School, will enjoy a few days off this week after helping the Ragdolls soccer team advance to the Catholic League championship game and win a game in the state playoffs. But she better not get too comfortable. Because later this week, she has to hit the hardwood.

“I don’t know how much time off I have, a few days,” Geiger said. “It’s always been like this since I was in fourth grade. Soccer goes into basketball. And later this month, I think it’s this month, I start playing indoor (soccer). It’s not a lot, it’s what I want to do.”

Basketball season runs until at least February, and longer possibly if the Ragdolls accomplish their goals. After that, Geiger might enjoy a week or two off before she gets right back in action.

“I played softball my freshman year, but last year I tried track because I had friends who did it and I wanted to do something,” Geiger said. “I do javelin, pole vault and the (sprints). I was All-Catholic in the javelin. I got better at it. It’s fun.”

Geiger is looking forward to her next two seasons this school year, but when she does decide to look back on the soccer season, she’ll have something to be proud of.

Ryan finished 10–1 during the regular season in Catholic League play and then advanced to the championship game, where the Ragdolls suffered a devastating 1–0 overtime loss to Lansdale Catholic.

Ryan then qualified for the District 12 championship game, defeating Rush 8–0 to advance to the state 3A playoffs.

The Ragdolls opened the tournament with a 2–1 victory over Villa Maria Academy, as freshman Kaitlyn Brace and sophomore Emily Deluisi scored goals. But on Saturday, their season came to an end following a 2–1 double-overtime loss to Mechanicsburg. Gianna Grassifulli netted the lone Ryan goal in the setback.

As a competitor, losing didn’t sit well with Geiger, but as a leader on the team, she was proud of the way her team played not just during the playoffs but throughout the year.

“I really didn’t think we’d be as good as we were, at least in the beginning of the year, but we all came together,” Geiger said. “We were really young. Not many people played before. We had freshmen and sophomores playing. I think we did better than a lot of us expected.

“We learned a lot. We learned during the year. It was a tough year, but we did pretty well. It still hurts to lose. I think we could have done better even, but we’ll get better because we learned from losing.”

This entire season has been a learning experience for Geiger. She came into the season with varsity experience, but she still had to learn on the fly.

She started the year as a defender, and moved to stopper midway through the season. The switch caused her to go back to basics and get comfortable in her new position. It took some time, but she got there pretty quickly.

“I think it took about three games for me to know what I was doing,” Geiger said. “I had to play the ball quicker and play small. I couldn’t take as many chances and I had to be smart with the ball because if you make a mistake at stopper, it can hurt.

“I liked it, though. I think I liked it better. It’s more responsibility, but in a good way. I think our defense had a good year all year, and it was all of us. We really came together, and that made us stronger.”

The Ragdolls proved to be strong all year, but Geiger is happy the team had a chance to compete in the state playoffs because it gave them extra games to improve.

Though they’re key cogs, the Ragdolls had only three senior starters, so the vast majority of this year’s team will return in August with the experience of going up against the top teams in 3A. Geiger believes that will only make them stronger.

“I’m glad we had those games to redeem ourselves after losing in the championship,” Geiger said. “We had a great time, too. We really come together when we’re playing in games like that, when we’re on the bus, we get so excited and ready to play.”

And Geiger has a very important role in that.

Geiger is the resident DJ at Ryan, and unlike the football team, which fancies Miley Cyrus, the girls soccer team prefers other artists.

“I usually play Beyonce or Rihanna,” Geiger said. “Just songs that get us ready. Songs that get us pumped up for the game. We have fun with it.”

Now she’s going to have fun resting for a few days before heading right into basketball season.

The 5-foot-6 Geiger might not be one of the tallest players in the Catholic League, but she plays forward and center for Ryan. Just like in soccer, the Ragdolls have some young players who will need to contribute and Geiger hopes the team comes together quickly.

“We’ll have to work hard,” Geiger said. “It could be tough at the start while everybody learns, but we’ll be good. We have some good players coming back and really good young players.”