A winning effort

Q&a Amber Womack, Eastern Tech, Soccer

November 20, 2008|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

Amber Womack finished off her Eastern Tech soccer career with a sensational three-goal performance in the state Class 2A girls final. Unfortunately, she and her teammates had to settle for the runner-up trophy when River Hill won the title on penalty kicks. The senior forward, an All-State first-team selection, finished the season with 13 goals and is now looking forward to basketball season. She plans to play soccer in college and is considering Grambling, Tampa and Loyola, among others. Enrolled in the criminal justice program at Eastern Tech, she plans a career in the legal field. She works with the class of 2009 and is active in her church, Fountain Baptist. She most recently played club soccer for the Parkville Predators.

Looking back, what was it like to play such a great game Saturday and come out on the losing side?

I'm really not disappointed in our team's play at all. We came out there strong. We played hard. River Hill is a good team. I just think there were some parts in the game when we got a little too comfortable. When we had the 2-0 lead, I think we got too comfortable and we kind of fell back and you can't do that against teams like River Hill or any top teams, especially at the state level. You've got to keep going, playing hard.

Talk a little bit about your game Saturday and how you felt.

The first few minutes, I was nervous, but then after you get the first couple touches on the ball, the nerves kind of go away and we did play them last year [in the state final], so at the same time, it was nerves mixed with, "Oh, we've really got to beat River Hill, because we weren't able to last year and we went into double overtime then." I think after I scored the first goal, it was more motivation for me to just keep going and keep scoring and then after it was tied, 2-2, I was like, "No. This can't happen, so I have to score again." I really, really wanted to win.

Why didn't you participate in the penalty kicks?

I had cramped up in the last two minutes of double overtime and they put me back on the line to get subbed in, but we couldn't get a throw-in, so I wasn't able to go back in. Once double overtime's over, you're not able to make any substitutions.

What was it like watching the PK shootout and not being able to be in there?

It was nerve-racking, but at the same time, I had confidence in my team because we've been practicing penalty kicks all season and we practice them a lot more toward the end of the season when it gets into playoffs. I felt confident in my keeper [Amanda Walters], especially after the state semifinal game where she did really well.

Do you think a state championship should be decided on penalty kicks or should there be co-champions?

I think that only during the playoff levels that PKs should be allowed, only because you want there to be a winner. You don't want to be tied for anything. I especially know that from asking how my other teammates felt during my freshman and sophomore year when we were co-county champs. We didn't really like that idea. We wanted to be a winner.

A lot of people think a shootout puts too much pressure on the goalie or the kicker when it comes down to winning or losing. How do your feel about that?

If you're a goalkeeper, that's something that you have to expect. Yes, it is a lot of pressure, but that's the kind of role that you take on when you want to be a goalie. You've got to be able to handle those situations. Same thing if you're shooting.

When you look back over your career at Eastern Tech, what was the highlight?

Just being able to go to state finals three out of four years that I was here. We had a really strong program. We worked hard a lot at practice and there was always motivation for us to get back to the state finals, so we just pushed each other and we worked really hard.

Where does your interest in the law come from?

Well, my dad's [a transit] officer, but at the same time, I'm really good with history and a lot of constitutional issues and law. My junior year was constitutional law and there's actually a courtroom set up downstairs and we got to do different court cases. Sometimes, you'd be a judge. Sometimes, you'd be an attorney. You'd write up briefs. You'd debate on cases. I like that stuff.

You play soccer, basketball and lacrosse, so which is your favorite sport?

It's a tie between soccer and lacrosse. I want to play soccer in college definitely, but if I go to a Division III college, I'd like to play both. It's because I started playing both sports when I was young at the same time, so I share the same passion for them.

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