MOVING FORWARD

For The Tribune

Maria Cerda moved from Batesville to Seymour prior to her junior year.

She had played soccer in Batesville, and since it was her favorite sport, she wanted to suit up for the Owls.

Her career in Seymour started with an email.

“When I moved here I emailed Coach (Greg) Musser,” Cerda said. “I told him how long I had played soccer and I wanted to continue to play soccer. I just tried out, and worked, like I always do, and coach Musser noticed I wanted a spot on varsity. I was really competitive with other teammates at first, and after a while we all got along.”

She said she thinks changing schools really helped her soccer career.

“I started in Batesville at the age of six or seven and played on small clubs,” she said. “At Batesville I usually played forward. When I came to Seymour I started off at a forward, and this year I went to outside midfielder.

“I thought I really liked up top at a forward, but after trying outside mid (this season), I really enjoyed outside.”

The change agreed with Cerda, as she was second on the team in scoring this season.

“I scored 11 or 12 goals, and I had a lot of assists but I don’t know how many,” Cerda said. “I tried connecting to see what the goalie would do. I would usually try to get the corners because that is where you should try scoring because the goalie is not going to go for the corners.

“My responsibilities were to try to find a way to switch the field, switch the ball to the other side, and work with Marie Lenart.”

Working under the Owls’ coaching staff helped Cerda grow as a player.

“I honestly feel I became a lot better at the sport after I moved here,” Cerda said. “I thought I knew every part of the sport, but once I met coach (Greg) Musser and coach (Bob) Hartman, they really helped me.

“I came from a good program. Batesville was really competitive, but I feel coach Musser and coach Hartman saw something in me that made me a lot better.”

In games, Cerda said she wanted to contribute any way she could.

“I played wherever the coach put me,” she said. “I enjoyed being physical. It helped me get my anger out sometimes, my stress reliever.”

With 11 players on the pitch, Cerda feels that communication is a key to success.

“If you don’t have teamwork, and don’t have communication within your team you can’t win,” Cerda said. “You have to be able to read each other. I played up top and outside and it was kind of easy to connect.

“Practice was really important. That’s where you get better, not during season, because during season the season goes by fast. Most of your hard work has to come from the very beginning of the season.”

At a glance

NAme: Maria Cerda

Parents: Javier Cerda, Nicolasa Cerda

Siblings: Javier, Yaneth, Olga, Lisbeth

Sports: Soccer, four years; basketball, track

Organizations: Spanish Club

Plans after high school: Attend IUPUI, major in physical therapy

Favorite food: Chicken alfredo

Favorite team: Real Madrid

Q&A

Q: What were home soccer matches like?

A: “I enjoyed having home games. Those were my favorites. I loved night matches. I liked playing under the lights. I feel that was the most exciting part of it for our team.

Q: What got you started playing soccer?

A: ” My brother is the one who got me into soccer at a very young age. He played in the adult leagues in Columbus and we would always go over and watch him.”

Q: Have you enjoyed your time at SHS, coming from Batesville?

A: “I am really glad I came to Seymour. I’m definitely going to miss soccer here and I wish them the best. I’m sure they will really enjoy playing on turf. It’s a fast-paced game, especially if it’s wet.”

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.