Oct. 17, 2012
BERKELEY - To the untrained eye and those watching youth soccer, it can appear as if there are no set positions in soccer. But in truth, things are just the opposite. CalBears.com caught up with the California women's soccer team to see which position the Bears prefer to play and why.
Lauren Battung (Forward) -
What I love most about being a forward is the freedom I have to be creative. I started playing that position about six or seven years ago. I actually played center back for a few years when I was younger, and for most of my soccer career before college I was a midfielder, both center and outside, or alternated between midfield and playing up top. My experience in other parts of the field has really influenced my development as a forward and been beneficial to my overall understanding of the game. I have a great respect for other positions, especially defense and goalkeeper, because in many ways they require much more discipline and fundamental consistency.
Celeste Boureille (Forward) -
Started playing soccer in fourth grade. Playing forward/midfield allows me to create opportunities to score. For me, it's all about the focus I bring to my game, the relief when a goal is made, and the urge to find scoring chances again and again.
Jenna Brennan (Goalkeeper) -
I love the pressure of being a goalie. If the forwards make a mistake, it's okay because the midfielders are there to back them up. If the midfielders mess up, the defenders are there for them. But if a goalie makes a mistake, the other team scores.
I transitioned from being a forward to a goalie in middle school.
Taylor Comeau (Midfielder) -
Genessee Daughetee (Defender/Midfielder) -
I love playing center mid because you can play defense and offense; you get the best of both worlds.
Being an outside back is awesome because the formation we play allows me to get involved in the attack as well as defend. So I'm constantly involved in the game. There is rarely a dull moment in my position.
Mekenna DeBack (Forward) -
I love the moments as a forward when time completely stops, when I am in front of the goal about to shoot, everything is in slow motion and you see the ball go into the net just the way you wanted it to. That rush, excitement and joyful feeling that overcomes your body when you finally do your job; scoring is what forwards strive for. I started playing soccer when I was five-years-old, but I didn't call myself a forward until I was about eight. As a forward you have no limits, you defend, you attack and you score, I am so proud to call myself a forward on the Cal women's soccer team. I wouldn't say that being a forward is better than any other position because I respect and have tried playing defense, midfield and goalie and they are all equally as difficult and all have their pros and cons. Being a forward is the position I chose and what I love to play, and I wouldn't trade it for any other spot on the field.
Kelsie Dickerson (Defender) -
I've been playing defense since I was in elementary school. I like it because there is no better feeling than stripping the ball away from someone.
Kaitlin Dickmann (Midfielder/Defender) -
I play defensive center mid for Cal. I started playing the position once I got to Cal. I like it a lot in mid because you play a defensive role, but you can also go on attack.
Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Midfielder) -
What I love most about playing center mid is that you are the playmaker on the field. It is like you are the engine for your team. You are always involved. I have played center mid my entire life once I started playing competitively. I will occasionally get thrown up top, which I don't mind at all. I love playing forward as well because I have an attacking mentality being that I mostly play attacking midfield.
Elliott Gentile (Defender) -
I've always played defense and I enjoy it because I think it's fun to stop people from scoring goals.
Amanda Glass (Defender) -
I play center back and sometimes outside back. I love being able to see the whole field, chasing people down and attacking out of the back. I first played sweeper when I was about 10-years-old and have been back there ever since.
Karly Graf (Midfielder) -
I've been playing in the midfield since I started playing club soccer. What I love about playing midfield is that the responsibility of the midfielder is connecting the team and creativity in playmaking. It's better than the other positions because it's a mix of all the best parts of the other positions plus the ability to have the whole field to play.
Betsy Hassett (Midfielder) -
Center midfield has been my position for life. I like to run all over the field and set up goals for my best friends up top.
Lauren Hein (Goalkeeper) -
I started playing goalie when I was nine. The coach asked who else wanted to play goalie, and nobody wanted to. So I stepped in and I've never left. I love that I get to be a leader; I can see the whole field in front of me. I believe my position is one of the most difficult on the field, but I love it.
Lorin Hom (Midfielder) -
In the midfield you have the ability to connect with both the frontline and backline. You get to be involved in everything, whether it's playing a through ball forward or stopping an attack
Emily Kruger (Goalkeeper) -
I started playing in the goal when I was about 10 or 11. My coach realized I wasn't afraid of the ball so he stuck me in there, and I fell in love with it. Being a goalkeeper is extremely mental, and I've come to realize that my relaxed demeanor and natural ability has allowed me to excel in my position in a way that I don't think I ever would have as a field player.
Kory Lamet (Forward/Midfielder) -
While I have to play all parts of the game what I love most about being a midfielder and forward is that I can focus more on the offensive part of the game, which I love.
Emi Lawson (Defender) -
I have been playing soccer since I was five and have played almost every position except keeper. I love playing center back because I can see the whole field, but is still one of the most challenging positions because any mistake could mean getting scored on!
Sandra Ley (Forward/Defender) -
I have played multiple positions, but my favorite would have to be right back. I love being able to join the attack. I started playing right back and center back since I was about 10.
Grace Leer (Forward) -
I have been playing forward my whole life, and my favorite part of the position I play is being able to impact the game and my team by putting goals in the net, which completely changes the game.
Ariana Martinez (Defender) -
I have played every single position on the field except for goalie! I enjoy playing every single one. As long as I'm on the field playing I'm happy.
Celeste Martore (Midfielder/Forward) -
I began playing center mid when I was about 13. I love always being on the ball and creating plays.
Rachel Mercik (Forward) -
I am an outside forward and I love playing the position because I love to take people on and beat them to goal. Beating a defender one-on-one and getting your team a goal or a scoring opportunity is a feeling no forward can describe. I started playing forward in high school, after I was switched from an attacking outside midfielder.
Ifeoma Onumonu (Forward) -
I first started playing forward when I first started playing soccer, so I'm pretty accustomed to it. The best part of playing forward is that you're able to be creative more than any other position on the field. The thing that makes the forward position better than the other ones on the field is that if we mess up, we have backup as opposed to the other positions, in which if they mess up it gives the other team a better scoring opportunity.
Nina Pederson (Defender) -
What I like about my position is that it's not always the most rewarding position and you often get blamed for lost games as a center back, but then there are these few games where you have the chance to make a difference with either scoring off a corner or keeping a shot-out for us to win the game. I've played all over the field and started as a center back on the U-17 national team, even though I played outside mid for my club team.
Samantha Walker (Defender) -
As an outside back I love to run up the sideline and get involved in the offense. I actually only became a defender half way through my freshman year at Cal because I came in as a forward. However, I have learned to love defense, and it is the best feeling to shut the other team's forwards down.
Samantha Witteman (Forward) -
I love playing forward because it allows me to do a variety of different things on and off the ball, and I get a lot of opportunities to score and have the ball at my feet. I just recently started playing forward full time. Usually in high school and on my club team I was a center midfielder, but I am enjoying the change. Being a forward is better than other positions because of the huge opportunities to score.