By David Rogers. BOONE, N.C. — A middle school goalkeeper defending the same size net used by soccer professionals is a daunting task, to begin with. And on a penalty kick? The challenge is even greater.
So chalk one up to a tremendous effort by Watauga Middle School District girls soccer goalkeeper Breanna Martin on Feb. 24. Barely two minutes into Watauga’s season opener, Martin read East Lincoln striker Ally Stewart’s intentions on a penalty kick, made a split second decision, dove to her left and was able to get her fingertips on Stewart’s well-struck ball aimed just inside the goalpost. A high school, college or professional goalkeeper may not have been able to do much more.
It may not have been the preferred outcome, but Watauga’s season opener was a good beginning. On the surface, the 5-0 loss to East Lincoln was a disappointment. And yet, after giving up four goals in the opening half and making the necessary adjustments at intermission to allow only a single ball to find the back of the net in the second half speaks well of Watauga players and coaches alike.