Molly Stryker, C. Milton Wright, girls soccer

Q&A --

October 22, 2006

C. Milton Wright sophomore Molly Stryker was a member of last season's Class 4A state championship team and is the starting sweeper for the Mustangs, who are 7-2-1. Stryker is 5 feet 9, and coach Paul Austin said, "You can't miss her in the back. She shows very good judgment. She knows when to attack the ball and when she has to slide. For a sophomore, she has very good maturity."

How did you develop a knack for knowing when to slide and when to attack on defense?

I've been playing soccer all my life. I started when I was 6. It comes natural, with help from my other defenders. I definitely couldn't do it without my other defenders.

With your starting goaltender [Allison Kuchar, who was injured in a car accident on Oct. 13] out for one to two weeks, do you feel more pressure as a sweeper?

Our defense has to toughen up and play our regular game. I'm sure we'll be fine. We're young in the back [one freshman, two sophomores and one junior] but close as a unit, and we're pretty strong.

Did you start last year?

Just a couple of games when the starter was hurt. She was back before the state championship game.

What was it like being in a state championship game?

It was a really nice experience. It was awesome, a 1-0 victory over Walt Whitman.

What part of the game do you like best?

Well, I just love defense. I like sliding.

What's your favorite thing to do when not playing soccer?

I play on the junior varsity lacrosse team. Sports are a big part of my life. I like watching football. I like the Ravens.

Do you consider yourself a physical player?

Yes, I like to go aggressive. I'm a tall girl, but I don't know if that intimidates anyone. I grew up playing defense. I've probably only taken a couple of shots in two years. I like to concentate on my defense.

Do you plan on going further in soccer?

Yeah, I'd like to play soccer in college. I think that would be neat. Even playing Division III would be fine with me.

Is the team good enough to win a state championship again?

We're not nearly as deep as last year, when we had nine seniors and a really good goalie, but we're still pretty good.

BILL FREE

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