Smith adds soccer to an already busy schedule

Published 12:06 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sophomore Lexi Smith has plenty of options when it comes to playing high school sports.

Lexi Smith

Lexi Smith

Volleyball, softball and now soccer keep Smith busy.

Smith appears the happiest this spring as a member of the Niles High School girls soccer team.

In the past Smith played soccer. She started playing soccer in the second grade on the Optimist Club in Niles. Smith continued playing soccer though the seventh grade.

“I didn’t play soccer last year,” Smith said. “I played travel volleyball and I decided to take on something new this spring and play soccer.”

Smith is a forward and midfielder for the soccer team.

“I’ll play anywhere that coach puts me,” Smith said.

Smith flashed some of her potential in a game on May 16th against Buchanan in the finals of the VanDenBerg Tournament. Smith scored her first career goal against the Bucks. That shot in the second half, which came from 20 yards, cut Buchanan’s lead to 2-1. The Bucks would eventually win 3-1.

“I felt like it was going to go in, but without the help of my team I wouldn’t have been able to score.”

Smith was hoping her goal would give the Vikings momentum and ignite them to a tournament title.

“We normally get hyped and play harder after someone score,” Smith said. “I figured that we were going to get another goal. We were excited and playing hard, but we came up short.”

Niles girls soccer coach Jo Schau is glad to have Smith on her team. Schau thinks Smith has the tools to be a good soccer player.

“She’s just a great athlete,” said Schau. “I’m just getting her a little bit more acclimated to positioning in soccer. But she’s a strong player and she works hard. Hopefully, we’ll get a couple more years out of her. That would be great. We’ll see.”

The question surrounding Smith is, what sport or sports will she concentrate on in high school?

Smith has started for two years as an outside hitter on the Niles varsity volleyball team.

“Volleyball is probably my favorite sport, but I like soccer too,” Smith said. “I like the environment and I like the people I play with. I have really good soccer teammates.”

When the soccer season ends Smith plans on playing softball again in the Niles-Brandywine League.

Smith was asked if she thought about playing high school softball in the spring.

“I’m not sure yet,” she said. “If I had to pick, I’d pick soccer. We’ll have to see what next year brings.”

The question remains unanswered.