DeKalb | The women’s soccer team didn’t have much to cheer about this weekend, but there was one bright spot: sophomore Sara Spaulding.
Spaulding tallied one goal and one assist over two games at the Jackrabbit Invitational, and her strong play was noticed as she was named to the all-tournament team, an honor she appreciates.
“It was definitely great to get that acknowledgement,” Spaulding said. “I’m more of a team player, though. I would’ve rather come out with two wins, but it was definitely a good feeling.”
Spaulding’s strong play has come partially from her familiarity with the team and its style of play.
“I feel like I know the game better, and I’ve adjusted to the speed of play,” Spaulding said. “I feel like I know how to connect to the team better, and I have a lot more confidence out on the field.”
Head coach John Ross sees how Spaulding has become more aware on the field and of what her expectations on the team are.
“She has a better understanding of what her role on the field is,” Ross said. “She’s a lot better defensively, and she understands how we want to funnel teams. She’s just improved quite a bit.”
Standing at only 5-foot-5, Spaulding packs a lot of energy and strength into her game. This speed and strength allows for more scoring chances for the team when she’s on the field.
“She holds the ball really well for us. She’s a very strong, very active player,” Ross said. “When she’s able to hold the ball for us we can get the midfielders involved. It allows us to get up the field with possession.”
Ross is starting to see this hard work turn into results, which landed Spaulding on the all-tournament team this weekend, and earned her an honorable mention for MAC offensive player of the week.
“She’s really starting to get it,” Ross said. “She’s started to simplify a little bit, and she understands her position more. She gives us a whole lot of effort out there. When you work that hard good things are going to happen for you, and they’re starting to happen for her.”