Senior Blues lead by example

Nicole Stejskal

Chemistry is more than just a subject studied in the classroom, and for the Lady Blues soccer team, it has become the focus of the season.

Led by seniors Angela Wiseman, Ashley Taylor, Lauren Lawless and Keeley Lambeth, the team is working to increase unity and build chemistry both on and off the field. In practice, they immediately start their workouts with team building.

“[Coach] has us bring everyone together, and we start the stretching,” said Lambeth. “In the stretching, we discuss what needs to be done, and we push people hard because we’ve been here longer and we know what to do.”

The seniors are also working to bond with their teammates outside of practice and games by spending time together and creating places where everyone can go.

“We’re building better team chemistry than what we’ve had in the past so the freshmen feel like they’re included in the team and they’re not just on their own in the dorms,” Taylor said. “Everyone makes an effort to reach out and include people.”

In addition to working together as a group, the seniors each bring their own individual strengths to the team that help build the overall chemistry.

Midfielder Angela Wiseman is best known by Coach Tim Collins for her presence on the team as a “general.”

“She organizes things for us and is a real enforcer in the midfield,” said Collins.

Taylor, a forward, is what Collins calls the strength of the team, making sure that her voice is always heard.

“I feel that it’s important for the seniors to be vocal,” Taylor said. “We like to have a lot of communication on our team, and that starts with the seniors.”

Forward Lauren Lawless is the heart and soul of the senior group and uses her past experiences to build up each of the players.

“She has been through so much, and she has passion for the team, for the program and for the game,” Collins said.

Lambeth, a midfielder, is known as the team’s “Energizer Bunny” and has been given the nickname “Skeeter” for her positive influence on the team.

“When the energy needs to be picked up, I just go out there and try to provide the spark,” said Lambeth.

Despite the differences in strengths between them, the seniors have formed a strong bond with each other over the past four years. Among the highlights of their experiences on the team include last season’s invitational in Hawaii and the conference championship win over Central Missouri two years ago.

The four teammates have also lived together but have since gone their separate ways and made friends with new people. While it may seem like they’re doing their own thing now, the seniors made the decision with the focus of team chemistry in mind.

“We’re still close and we still go out and do things together, but we’re trying to get everyone together,” Lambeth said. “We don’t want them to feel like we’re just here for each other. We really do care about everyone else.”