Suffolk soccer squads prepare to represent city

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2003

Imagine that you’re standing in a soccer goal, minding your own business. Luckily, your offense has kept the ball in opposing territory for most of the game, making your job an easy one for the day. Baking in the hot afternoon sun, your only worry is sweating off a few pounds by your heavy goalie shirt and gloves.

Suddenly, the opposing team takes control. Their fastest player darts in front of one of your teammates, steals the ball, and bolts across midfield. Speeding toward you, he’s yards in front of his pursuers. In seconds, it’s going to be just the startled you and the determined him.

As Keanu Reeves asked in the film &uot;Speed&uot;: &uot;Pop quiz, hotshot. What do you do? What do you do?&uot;

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Let’s ask Brooke Holland of the Suffolk Sharks 14U girls travel soccer team of the Hampton Roads Challenge League. &uot;When your defense is gone and you’re man-to-man,&uot; says the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy student, &uot;you have to go out and attack. It scares the other player and they’ll probably miss.&uot;

When their season begins on Sept. 6, Brooke and her teammates will be attempting to take a bite out of opposing teams from Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and even as far south as Currituck, N.C.

The youngster has a tendency to make afternoons long for opposing teams; in addition to being one of the top goalkeepers, Brooke’s also a leading scorer.

&uot;I like both (offense and defense), because you’re benefiting the team either way. I guess scoring goals is a little better than stopping them, because its less stressful.&uot;

Dakota Lettieri, 13, also plays both ways for the Sharks. &uot;I like the competition in this league,&uot; says Dakota, a three-year veteran of the squad. &uot;You get to go to a lot of places and have fun.&uot;

Zach Crytzer, 10, is also hoping to rack up the points this season as a member of the 12U boys team. &uot;Scoring goals is definitely the best part of soccer,&uot; says the Kilby Shores Elementary School student. &uot;It’s like you get your own moment. I don’t know how many goals I’m going to score this year.&uot;

Zach’s most effective scoring technique is the &uot;One-Two,&uot; in which he passes to a teammate, who proceeds to immediately smack it right back, confusing defenders.

When a player shoots, Zach explains, &uot;You have to look the goalkeeper right in the eyes, because if they look at your eyes, they’re not looking at the ball, and they don’t know which way you’re going to shoot it at them.&uot;