|High School||Julie Zbozien|
The first game of our 2018 season was odd. My homeschool paperwork had not been processed by the school’s system, so I could not play until it cleared. My coach kept her phone on her the whole time and waited for the call (and she hates to have a distraction from the field). At halftime she got the call that I was cleared to play and I was able to join my team out on the field as a defender. Then she moved me up to forward and told me to score. I did and it was my first career goal.
I played for almost 148 consecutive minutes in a single afternoon. We had a JV game first then a district varsity game. I was the only non-senior defender and seniors are not allowed to play JV. Coach told me to play sweeper for the 40 minute JV game and then go back to left defender for varsity. I played the entire JV game, through the entire variety game, and through overtime. We played two 10 minute halves, one 5 minute sudden death and we were 3 minutes into the second 5 minute sudden death when we scored and won the game. The highlight wasn’t that I got to play for so long, it’s that my coach trusted me to not only play both games, but to play both games with the same high level of energy and intensity as everyone else who hadnt played as long as I did.
During a district game, the other team had an amazing forward who could control the ball and break through any defense to score. During our game against this team, after she had beaten the rest of my defense, I was able to stop her from scoring twice.
Our 2019 season has been an interesting one. We lost 7 starters/seniors. That loss consisted of half the midfield and every defender, except for me. I have had to step up into the role of co-captain and into the role of the "yeller". I am now the sweeper guarding the goalie and the goal from attacks and my new defense is very inexperienced. I find myself constantly talking them through situations and encouraging them to step up to attacking forwards. However, the pressure is on me. I have to defend and teach at the same time (teaching is a skill I did not think I would have). I am thankful to have learned so much from my previous defense. Those seniors taught me a lot of skills that have helped me, now a senior, help my teammates.
It has always been my dream to have my own signing day. I recently believed that my dream was over because of what I want to be when I am older, a general practitioner. I thought I wouldn’t be able to manage training and practice and keep my grades up at the same time, but I’ve been reminded of why I love soccer so much while watching my team mates succeed. There is no place I’d rather be than in the middle of a soccer game. I will work my hardest to pursue my career in medicine, but I want to be able to live out my one college sports dream if I can.
As a defender, I help to call out to my team mates & help them to be aware of their surroundings. I’m always there to back up my team mates if they get beat and I trust them to do the same.
My main priorities are my grades, but I work extremely hard to keep my grades above average and still allow time for training and hard work on the field.
Every year, I spend 4 weeks of June working, playing, teaching, and loving children with Down syndrome at a camp where they are taught social skills and given the chance to relax.
This is important to me because I have done it since I was 13 and I absolutely adore all the children that attend the camp. They are why it’s important to me