Lady Elks Strube makes first-team
When Erin Poyner arrived at Burleson to take over the girls soccer program she found a young squad and senior forward Faith Strube.
Strube capped her four-year career at Burleson earning District 9-5A first-team girls soccer honors.
Joining Strube on the first-team were part of the Lady Elks’ young movement: sophomore forward Gracie Spradley and freshman forward Jordan Walker.
The Lady Elks finished the season with a 16-7-3 mark and fourth in district play with a record of 8-4-2. Burleson lost to Mansfield Lake Ridge, 2-1, in a Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff game.
“I know overall this is a much younger squad than others in our district and I think the amount of progress they’ve made as players and young women has put them in a position to earn more success in the coming years,” Poyner said. “I was really proud of how they competed in their final game and it’s hard to walk away upset with the outcome when you know their time in the spotlight is just around the corner.
I’m very, very proud of all the whole team, including our sub-varsity squad. We have a lot to look forward to ahead. That’s pretty exciting and motivating to work even harder.”
Strube had a great senior year scoring 20 goals and adding 13 assists for the Lady Elks. She also provided senior leadership and guidance for a youthful squad.
“I wish there was a stat to record how many times her leadership and tenacity were the catalyst in games we needed her to come through the most,” Poyner said. “She’s not a player whose role will be easily replaced next season.”
Spradley played both forward and midfielder for Burleson. She also shined offensively notching 10 goals and 10 assists.
“Gracie Spradley is a dynamic attacking midfielder who kept the pulse of our offense running this season,” Poyner said. “(Her offensive numbers) correlate with her role, when we needed to get on the board, she’s the one with the ball. When we need to create, she’s the one setting up chances. I think when she grows into her full potential in the coming years, she’s going to be extremely difficult for other teams to shut down.”
Walker was another player who helped the Lady Elks create offense. Playing at forward and midfield this season she finished with five assists. According to Poyner, Walker might be the one of the player’s to assume Strube’s leadership.
“She’s serving as team captain even though she’s a freshman, she plays and works beyond her grade level,” Poyner said. “Jo will just outwork anyone on the field, she’s exceptionally skilled and a huge ball winner for us. She just doesn’t make many mistakes and can play any position with us without a change in her contribution.”
The Lady Elks had three second-team players in junior defenders Laura Jordan and Adriana Zaragoza and freshman forward Maycie Massingill.
Junior defender Kirsten Ruby and sophomore midfielder Abby McLaughlin were Burleson’s honorable mention honorees.