Buchanan’s Krieghoff heads All-Bee girls soccer
She’s qualified because: Two-time Tri-River Athletic Conference Offensive MVP had 25 goals and 15 assists while leading Bears to 20-3-1 mark that included league and Central Section Division I titles. Was driving force with 100 goals and 37 assists behind teams that went 84-11-7 with three league and three section titles in her four varsity seasons. Bound for Cal Poly to play soccer, Krieghoff was also a four-year varsity basketball player, earning first-team all-league honors after helping Buchanan win share of TRAC title as a senior.
Elise Krieghoff’s athletic focus has shifted solely onto soccer as she prepares for her freshman season at Cal Poly.
But for the past four years, the Buchanan High standout has been one of the best two-sports-at-a-time female athletes that the Central Section has seen in recent memory, perhaps ever.
Krieghoff played four seasons of both varsity basketball and soccer for the Bears, often competing in the two sports on the same day. She would race from an afternoon on the pitch to an evening on the hardcourt.
“It was a fun four years doing that,” Krieghoff said. “A lot of adrenaline and heart went into both teams. It takes a certain someone to want to do that, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try it.”
Krieghoff averaged roughly seven points and three rebounds per game in her basketball career, which culminated in first-team All-Tri-River Athletic Conference honors after helping the Bears win a share of the league title and reach the semifinals of the Division I playoffs.
But she was even better in soccer, where she helped deliver three league titles and three D-I championships during a career that produced 100 goals, 37 assists and back-to-back TRAC Offensive MVP awards.
Krieghoff is The Bee’s Girls Soccer Player of the Year after earning honorable mention in basketball.
“I still don’t understand how she can go from 80 minutes of soccer to a high-paced basketball game,” first-year Buchanan girls soccer coach Orlando Ramirez said. “It was unbelievable. Doesn’t matter where she is, she gives it everything she has.”
Former Bears girls soccer coach Erik Farfan, the person who gave Krieghoff a spot on the varsity as a freshman, said basketball played a crucial role in her accomplishments in the other sport.
“What’s really unique about Elise, not only her athleticism, speed, strength and skill development, but she was really able to utilize her basketball skill set on the soccer field,” Farfan said. “She could play with her back to the goal and know where to go based on pressure. The cross training she was doing really paid off in soccer.”
After being a forward her first three soccer seasons — the position she has been recruited to play at Cal Poly — Ramirez asked Krieghoff to move into the midfield this season and become more of a factor on defense.
“I felt she wasn’t getting the ball enough, not having enough of an impact on every facet of the game” Ramirez said. “That was the main decision in putting her in the midfield, so she could affect the game in many ways.”
Krieghoff embraced the switch.
And after settling for a runner-up finish last season, Krieghoff was the driving force as Buchanan recaptured the D-I title it had won in her freshman and sophomore seasons. The Bears beat Stockdale 3-2 in overtime in the final. She scored 26 goals and contributed 15 assists as the Bears went 20-3-1.
“I wanted to get better as an overall player, so wherever he put me, I was determined to do that,” Krieghoff said. “I always thought about the team first.
“I felt I accomplished the thing I wanted, which was to get back to winning the title and get back to being the team that is known for success.”
Ramirez said he could tell by the look in Krieghoff’s eyes from day one of practice how focused she was on bringing the D-I title back to Buchanan.
“I can easily say she was the best player on the field every time we stepped out there,” Ramirez said. “The overall offensive and defensive effort she put in game in and game out was outstanding. That’s what impressed me most, her willingness to do the dirty work.
“She was able to lead, and by her actions and play on the field, bring everyone along with her in a common goal.”
Also considered: Caressa Archie, Clovis North, who’s widely regarded as the section’s top defender and led Broncos to D-II title.
By Nick Giannandrea