UnionHerald Feature Athlete of the Week: St. Francis girls soccer’s Lauren Buzzell | Bethel

UnionHerald Feature Athlete of the Week: St. Francis girls soccer’s Lauren Buzzell | Bethel

St. Francis girls soccer senior Lauren Buzzell, who scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win Sept. 11 as the Saints improved to 5-0. St. Francis is currently ranked No. 8 in Class AA. Buzzell has committed to play soccer at Nebraska.

“I was 4 years old when I started playing soccer. My parents would always make jokes about how hard I kicked as a baby, so they signed me and my brother up for soccer.”

Enjoy most about sport and position

“My favorite part of soccer is how it’s not tied to specific plays on a whiteboard. It’s fluid and creative and the players on the field have to have somewhat of an understanding of who they’re playing against to know how to play around/through them. I always wanted to score goals when I was younger, but I didn’t have the foot skills to dribble and beat defenders. I found that I could help my team score goals and win by reading the field, organizing and making plays from centerback position. Playing centerback allows me to step into a leadership role by giving me a view of the field that my teammates in the offense can’t see. I support them by helping them see what they can’t by reading the field and communicating it. Being there and supporting my teammates is my favorite part. It’s an awesome feeling seeing it all come together on the field.”

What makes this team special

“This year we are undefeated so far, 5-0. We haven’t reached our full potential yet, but we continue to practice and work on our weak points in order to get to the U.S. Bank this year. Our goal is for the whole high school to get two days off school to come watch us play at the Bank in November. We came into this season with the returning core group of girls that won our school’s first conference championship title in women’s soccer. This group of solid and experienced girls are looking to go beyond a conference title this year, and with even more promising younger athletes joining us, I’m hoping that we can continue to build up to our overall goal.”

Something people might not realize about your sport

“I could pick the easy route and just say ‘offsides,’ at least that’s the most popular topic I’m asked about anyways. However, I think a lot of people don’t realize how important fitness is. If you can’t run three miles in at least 25 minutes, you’ll find yourself struggling to play an 80-minute soccer game. Nearly everything a soccer player does stems from their fitness level.”

Top high school soccer memories

“Mine would have to be from my junior year. It was 9 o’ clock at night up in Hinckley. Dairy Queen was just about to close as our coach bus pulled into the parking lot for the girls to try and find some food. However, everything except DQ was closed, and they weren’t allowing anyone to go inside the restaurant due to COVID rules. It took some convincing, but after no cars had driven through for a while, the employees finally allowed us to come up to the window and order. So, all 32 of us walked up to the drive-through window, ordered ice cream for the drive home and hopped back on the bus for the two-hour drive home!”

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