LOUDONVILLE — The weapon of choice for the Three Musketeers in this version of Alexandre Dumas’ tale is not a rapier, but a soccer ball.
“Les Inseparables” don’t roam the Palace of Versailles, but played two varsity seasons together at Schoharie High School, and were together again this summer with the Albany Rush of United Women’s Soccer, a national pro-am league.
They are not named Athos, Aramis and Porthos.
It’s Pips, Doodle and Peanut.
And they’re sisters.
After spending their entire lives pounding countless shots off the kickboard in their backyard, Carrie, Megan and Katie Krohn have gone their separate ways.
There was a reunion of sorts when senior co-captain Carrie’s Siena team tied freshman Megan’s UAlbany Great Danes 1-1 at Hickey Field on Wednesday afternoon, but it didn’t carry the same intrigue it might have, since Megan was on the sideline, out for the season with a concussion suffered during the Rush season.
Katie, meanwhile, continued to tear up the record books, scoring five goals in a 9-1 Schoharie home victory over Fort Plain, and she has committed to play for the University of Buffalo, making the Krohn sisters the first three female athletes from their small rural high school to play Division I sports.
It made for an interesting afternoon for their parents, Marie and John, who showed up at Hickey Field in a mix of apparel from both Siena and UAlbany (skewing toward the Saints a bit. Carrie, after all, is a senior). Katie’s Schoharie team also had a home game.
Despite the suddenly disjointed paths for the sisters, they remain all for one and one for all.
“My dad was texting me before the game saying it’s hard even to watch, because we’ve always been sisters, on the same team, in life and in soccer,” Carrie “Pips” Krohn said, after she set up the game-tying goal with a clean cross to co-captain Emily McNelis with just over nine minutes left in regulation.
“So I think it was a little bit harder today to know that part of me wasn’t on my team anymore. But obviously I support her, and I love her. And before the game, she goes, ‘You can score, as long as we still win.’ So there’s a little bit of rivalry there, but it’s healthy.”
“It was really hard not to be able to cheer and to kind of cheer against her at times,” Megan “Doodle” Krohn said. “I definitely did cheer a little when she created that goal opportunity, because I’m happy for her and happy to see her succeed.”
“We went to a doctor’s appointment this morning, and we were talking about it,” Marie Krohn said. “She’s like, ‘I’m kind of torn. I want my sister to do well,’ but she wants UAlbany to win.”
John Krohn didn’t get to see Carrie’s play at the end of the game, because he left before halftime for the drive from Loudonville to Schoharie to try to catch the second half of Katie’s game.
If he made it by then, he’d already missed Schoharie’s 8-0 first half.
The three sisters bring different skills and mentalities to soccer, and in the case of Katelyn “Peanut” Krohn, her signature is technical expertise as a goal-scorer.
The differences show themselves during their ferocious backyard kickboard battles in a game with rules that resemble handball, but the common thread is competitive spirit.
“Oh, yes, every day. It’s brutal,” Megan said with a laugh. “It definitely leaves you with a lot of bruises. We spent so many hours, all three of us, the sisters, out there, kicking against the wall, beating each other to death. To the death of who wins.”
“We play some 2v2, and it gets pretty competitive,” said John, a college soccer player at Trenton State, renamed The College of New Jersey. “The different characters come out in those games. Carrie is hypercompetitive, Katie always wants to be the most technical player out there and Megan’s really easy-going … the middle sister.”
The Krohn sisters — they have an older brother, John, who played soccer at CBA — come from strong athletic stock.
Their parents are from small towns in south New Jersey and met at Trenton State before moving north for employment. John is an engineer at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, and Marie is a seventh-grade Social Studies teacher in the Schoharie district who previously taught English and has had her daughters in class.
Besides John’s soccer career at Trenton State, Marie has four Division III national championship rings, two each for field hockey and lacrosse, was an All-American and is in the TCNJ athletic hall of fame.
So Carrie, who joined her Siena teammates prior to Wednesday’s game in accepting MAAC championship rings from the 2020-21 season, has some catching up to do in the swag department.
Marie said before the game that the ideal scenario would be a 1-1 tie, with Carrie scoring the Siena goal, and that’s just about how it played out. Carrie had two dangerous chances earlier that were stopped by UAlbany goalie Cassandra Coster, and appeared to have another opening late in the game, but passed it to McNelis for the easy touch instead.
“My angle going at the goal wasn’t my best, so I took on the goalie, made her commit and I heard my roommate and best friend calling for it, and I knew she wouldn’t call for it unless she was in a goal-scoring opportunity,” Carrie said. “So I laid it across the box, and she buried it. She was like, ‘Pips! Pips!'”
The nickname is short for “Pipsqueak,” from when she was a little girl.
“Doodle” is short for “Megadoodle” — “just because that’s her,” John said — and “Peanut” … well, that’s the sort of nickname you give the baby sister.
“Pips and Megan are the responsible ones, not so much the youngest,” Marie said with a laugh.
Katie had originally made a verbal commitment to Hartford, but then the school announced that it would be dropping from Division I to III. After Hartford let Katelyn de-commit, she chose Buffalo, where offensive-minded head coach Shawn Burke’s style should suit Katie’s skills, John Krohn said.
“She’s unstoppable,” Carrie said. “You can put her in any situation, and she will thrive. She loves to be competitive, she loves to push herself. She just reached 200 goals for her high school career the other day. My record shies in comparison to what she’s done to it.”
Megan, meanwhile, has a tough road back from the concussion, but she’s proven that she can rebound during a long injury recovery, as she showed following ankle surgery a year ago that knocked her out for six months. Marie said the prognosis is for 100% recovery.
If anything, sitting out her freshman season at UAlbany likely will make Megan even hungrier to get on the field again and excel.
“Megan is such a stubborn kid,” Carrie said. “And she’s so strong. Her ankle injury really took a toll on her mentally and physically. And she recovered, I think that she’s been playing the best she’s ever played.
“She looked amazing with the Rush, she worked really hard, her fitness was up there, her skills were phenomenal, and this really took an unexpected turn for her, and my heart just really hurts for her. Because she’s been working so hard, and it happened at a truly terrible time.”
Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to imagine the three sisters in the backyard again someday, dueling it out.
“Katie wants to score, Carrie is happy working hard and passing the ball and Megan’s back there on ‘D,’ so they know what each other’s going to do, so that’s really helpful on the field,” Marie said.
“And they always have each other’s backs during the games,” John said. “I’ve never seen any arguments from them. They enjoy the experience together. In terms of playing, there’s a lot of harmony.
“Occasionally one in the backyard walks off,” he said with a laugh.