Kane does it all for Pandas

Nazareth senior midfielder Brooke Kane would rather set up a goal than score one herself.

Brooke Kane has the talent to be one of the top scorers in the area.

But that’s not her game.

Kane is a senior offensive midfielder on the Nazareth Academy High School soccer team and on the year, she’s managed to score six goals for the Pandas, who are enjoying a fine season, sitting at 9-3-1, especially considering their losses have been to the top teams in the area, and their lone tie was to Archbishop Ryan, which remains unbeaten in the Catholic League.

But Kane’s not a goal scorer, at least that’s not what she’s known for.

Despite netting a pair in her team’s 6-0 win over St. Hubert on Saturday, her game is making sure her teammates get in the scoring column, and she’s done that quite nicely, handing out 10 assists on the season.

And that’s just fine by her. She doesn’t care who scores the goals or even who gets credit for the Pandas’ success. If the team is moving forward and winning games and her teammates are celebrating, she’s happy.

“I like setting my teammates up more than scoring because that gets everyone going,” said Kane, who has the same attitude in her other sports, basketball, where she plays point guard, and lacrosse, where she’s also a midfielder. “I’ve always been more of a playmaker. That’s what I like doing. And it’s working because we have a lot of people who can finish. I just try to get them in position to make plays and they finish it.”

She learned that from her father, Bryan.

Not only was her dad a star soccer player at Father Judge and Kutztown University, he was her first coach, and Kane spent a lot of time under dad’s learning tree.

The Mayfair native credits her dad with a lot of her success and while some might have a hard time listening to their parents, it was never like that for Kane.

“I knew he knew what he was talking about so I always listened,” Kane said. “He was hard, but he’s no harder than my other coaches. I think coaches are hard because they want you to be better and I know that’s what he wanted. It helped me a lot.”

Kane gave just as much credit to her other coaches.

She said her Nazareth coach, Dan Bradley, has had a big influence on her, as does her coach with FC Bucks, Audrey Anderson.

“They all help me a lot,” Kane said. “I learned a lot while playing for the Lansing Knights. I loved playing there, but then I wanted to play club soccer, so I left there and started playing for FC Bucks. It’s very competitive, and I think I’ve gotten a lot better playing there.”

Kane isn’t the only one who has been seeing a lot of improvements lately.

The Pandas have been playing better as of late, and after a solid campaign last year, they are on pace to have an even better season.

It might surprise outsiders after the Pandas lost some great players to graduation, but it doesn’t shock Kane.

“We’re a good team,” Kane said. “We’re a really good team because we play well together. We have great chemistry.”

Kane hopes soccer season continues for a long time.

After all, it’s her easiest season.

In the winter, she is always busy with basketball, and in the spring, it’s lacrosse. Plus, during those seasons, she spends her nights practicing with her club soccer team.

She stays busy off the field, too.

She’s in the National Honor Society with a 3.9 grade point average, she’s a member of Athletes Helping Athletes and she helps out at Lansing with the Special Olympics on Saturdays.

“I love that because you help teach them how to have fun, sportsmanship and how to be a good teammate,” Kane said. “I love it. They have a lot of fun. We teach them a lot, and we have a lot of fun doing it.”

This will also help her in the future, where just like soccer, she plans on following in her dad’s footsteps after college.

Her dad is an occupational therapist, and that’s something she’s interested in. She hopes to study it in college and do that.

Just like in soccer, it’s about picking up an assist.

“My dad does it, and I know I would like to do it,” Kane said. “You can really help people, and it would be good to help children. I would like to work with special education students in the public school system. I think that would be a rewarding job.

“I know it’s a lot of work, but it’s a job that would never be boring and you can really make a difference. It’s something that people need, and I think I can help the kids. Plus, I think I would like doing it.”

But before she starts on her career, she has a lot to do before she finishes her Nazareth career.

“I really want to make districts and go far,” she said. “I think we have a chance to go far. We have a really good team and we all want it.”