COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge goalkeeper Carrie Levy paces around the goal box, eyes focused on the bouncing white and black ball. When an attempted shot from the opposing team comes her way, she takes charge, gathering the ball into her hands.
“I got it, I got it, keeper,” Levy shouts.
A few minutes later when the Bruins sustained some offensive pressure, Levy spoke up again.
“Nice work, nice work ladies. Keep it up there.”
Even as a freshman, Levy still demands respect from her teammates. She patrols the penalty area without fear. Although Levy is unafraid to offer a stern word or two, she mainly puts forward kind words of advice and support.
“She sees the entire field,” coach Kelly Gates said. “She isn’t afraid to yell at other girls even though they may be older than her.”
During her short tenure on the varsity squad, Levy has developed into somewhat of a team leader, especially a vocal one.
“She’s really stepped up and gotten a lot of confidence lately,” Gates said. “Even as a freshman, she speaks up. You would think as a freshman she would be timid, but she’s not.”
“I’m a leader because I can see the whole field,” Levy said. “I can tell them to switch fields, spread out and attack.”
At the beginning of the season, Levy was basically handed the starting position when junior Katherine Harry decided to forgo the soccer season to keep her options open in terms of basketball.
“I did have a lucky streak getting here,” Levy said. “The first games were a little nerve-racking but now I’m into it.”
Levy was strong in the nets on Tuesday night, aiding Rock Bridge in their 1-0 victory over Quincy Notre Dame. Levy came up particularly big in the 30th minute when she made a diving save to her right to prevent a goal.
Senior Lauren Kelly provided the goal when she connected on left-footed shot from inside the box off of a brilliant lead pass from sophomore Kelsey Reimler. With the win, Rock Bridge improved to 3-10 on the season.
“We had a rough loss last night,” Gates said. “We came out with a good attitude and ready to play. This can turn our season around tonight.”
Gates believes that Levy exemplifies this attitude, always staying positive.
“You always just have to keep your focus,” Levy said. “We have to just play together. We need to talk more. As a goalie, I just got to keep talking.”
Levy has inspiration enough to stay positive throughout this tough stretch.
“My motivation--in a way it’s these girls because they want it just as bad as I do,” Levy said. “Also, my mom because she always tells me to have fun and be as aggressive as I can be.”
Levy learned early. By the time she was 11, she was playing with a boys team, the Titans, and continued to do so until the age of 14.
“I started playing goalie there and I had a natural talent at it,” Levy said. “I tried hard to get here.”
Although the Bruins’ record is less than impressive, Levy believes Rock Bridge is playing good soccer and will start to win more games.
“We’re a good team,” Levy said. “Rock Bridge soccer is getting better.”