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Freshman girl emerges as Pennsylvania boys soccer team’s best player

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

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Kayla Franklin (right) leads the Kimberton Waldorf boys' soccer team in scoring -- Philadelphia Inquirer

Kayla Franklin (right) leads the Kimberton Waldorf boys' soccer team in scoring -- Philadelphia Inquirer

Kayla Franklin has as many goals as the rest of her soccer team combined.

Impressive for any prep performer, sure, but magnified tenfold when you realize Franklin is a 15-year-old 5-foot-4 freshman girl playing on the Kimberton Waldorf School (Phoenixville, Pa.) boys soccer team.

"She's got a tough spirit about herself," Franklin's father, Chris, told the Phildelphia Inquirer. "She's not going to go seek that out, but she's not going to stand for it, either."

According to the Inquirer, Kimberton Waldorf (1-4) has scored six goals through five games, and Franklin has three of them. She scored in the season-opening 4-0 victory against Woodlynde School (Strafford, Pa.)and tallied the team's only goal in losses to Collegium School (Exton, Pa.)and Delaware Valley Friends School (Paoli, Pa.). The other three games? Shutouts. In other words, nobody but Franklin has scored since the first game of the season.

Kimberton Waldorf is no stranger to featuring females on boys' teams, according to the Inquirer. The small private school (85 students in grades 9-12) doesn't field a girls' soccer team, and the varsity reportedly featured a female co-captain on the team last season. This year, five girls make up a quarter of the roster, but Franklin is the lone starter.

"I didn't really see anything, so to say, special with any of the girls . . . during practice," junior teammate Ben Janisch told the paper. "And then in the first game . . . she just beat every single defender, these huge guys, and I was like, 'What the heck is going on here?'"

Interestingly, Pennsylvania is one of a few states hoping to ban boys from playing girls' sports, but Franklin is showing it's possible for the two genders to share a playing field.

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