For The Tribune
Chris Rust began playing soccer in Seymour at a young age, and when he began attending Trinity Lutheran he decided to try out for the soccer team.
“I played until around fourth or fifth grade, and I had to quit,” he said. “I hadn’t played soccer for a significant amount of years before I played in high school.”
The past four years, Rust has played a key role on the Cougars’ offense.
“Soccer was a new sport for me again,” Rust said. “I started varsity my sophomore year. I’ve moved around, but for the most part I’m a midfielder. They would pass me the ball in the midfield, and basically I would try to get to the corner and cross it in so we could header it in or kick it in.”
Rust always looked for an opening to fire off a shot.
“The best way to attack the goal is find where there is an open spot,” Rust said. “If I get passed the ball, if there is a defender in front of me I might cut into the middle, or if there is nobody down the side, I might just sprint down the side and cross it in. It depended on where the defenders were.”
A lefty, Rust said his left foot is stronger and more accurate when it came to dribbling a soccer ball.
“I had five or six goals, and I had a lot of assists because I’m also our corner kicker,” he said.
In games, the Cougars relied on Rust to take corner kicks.
“Usually I would aim for a certain spot,” Rust said of strategy on corners. “Some of it can depend on where the goalie is. Sometimes I would kick it a little further out, but for the most part I tried to kick it just outside the 6-yard line.”
With 11 members on the field, Rust said communication is important for success.
“Talking is a major component of the game, and knowing where to pass to is another important factor,” he said.
Rust said scoring first gave the team a big mental lift.
“If you get the first goal your team is going to have a major boost, but if the first goal is scored against you they take that boost from you,” he said. “It can have a major mental impact on the game. You’ve got to keep a good mental mindset when you’re playing.
“I’d say the most intense part of a game is the ending. If we’re ahead 2-1, the other team would be really pushing for another goal. They would try to beat us down.”
Chris said he enjoyed having his brother, Ethan, as a member of the team.
However, they didn’t get to play together as Ethan broke his foot in his first match.
Rust is looking forward to playing in the Elite North-South Challenge this month in Indianapolis.
Parents: Anthony Rust, Sally Armstead
Siblings: Ethan and Amanda
Sports: Soccer, four years
Athletics highlights: helped Trinity win sectional and advance to regional finals in 2013, 2014; all-regional in 2014, selected to Elite North-South soccer challenge in 2015
Organizations: National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors, Chess Club, Euchre Club
Plans after high school: attend college, study civil engineering
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite TV show: “The Walking Dead”
Favorite team: Barcelona
Q: Where was your favorite away field?
A: “I like New Albany. I like turf fields. It’s much easier to control the ball on turf in my opinion. The ball rolls forever on turf, and it will skid more. There are a lot of bumps on a grass field that can throw your ball off.
Q: What’s your most memorable soccer highlight?
A: “In the first game of regional last year against Southwestern Hanover, I scored the first goal.” The Cougars won that match, then lost to Providence in the regional finals.
Q: Why is important to have a strong mental game?
A: “How you look at something mentally will determine how you will play for the most part. If you have a good mentality you’ll try harder. Momentum is usually good for any sport because it gives you a boost to go for it even more.”