Sometimes life doesn’t let you get settled into a comfort zone.
It makes you tackle things on the fly.
That was the case for Lexi Miller, Hiland’s newest varsity goalie.
Miller was thrust into the spotlight at the end of the year when Hiland’s season-long keeper Beth Boyles was injured during the Northwestern game Oct. 10.
It was there that Boyles reaches down to pick up a loose ball in the box, only to have a Huskies players kick it, or perhaps more accurately, her had, breaking a bone.
In stepped Miller, whose first task was to try to shut down a powerful West Holmes Lady Knights team two days later in the final regular season game of the year.
“Losing Beth is definitely not a good thing, because she has played very well this season, and is a big part of this team,” said Hiland coach Jessie Wengerd. “But it is nice to haver a back-up keeper who can come in and compete. Beth has been a very good keeper for us, very reliable. I am hoping that Lexi has taken advantage of the chance to watch and learn from Beth this year.”
Facing a team as good as West Holmes was a struggle, not just for Miller but for the entire Lady Hawks team. Dropping a 6-0 contest might not look good on paper, but Miller did a number of nice things in the game, making 11 saves, several of them very solid efforts.
“It’s killing Beth to have to stand and watch, because she wants to be out there so badly,” said Wengerd. “But she has been a tremendous cheerleader and so supportive of Lexi. Pre-game, middle of the game, post game, Beth has been amazing. She looks like a future coach.”
Miller had toiled mainly at the JV level this year, and accordingly, one might think she would be super nervous taking her game to the varsity level this late in the year.
That wasn’t the case, according to Wengerd.
“She really took it all in stride,” said Wengerd of Miller. “I told her (the day before the West Holmes game) that she was going to be our go-to keeper.
“She was very calm, and asked her before the game if she felt good, and she said yes. She has a very good sense of what is going on. It was nice to see her step in and make some nice saves throughout the game.”
Wengerd and the Lady Hawks are hoping that calm demeanor helps them make a tournament run that will keep the season alive as they seek to get back over the .500 mark. They are currently 6-7-3 on the campaign.