COMING TO TERMS: Part II: Girls' Soccer
By BRANDON HURLEY
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second week of an extensive series detailing the emotional cancellation of the spring sports high school season. For the next month or so we will share comments from Greene County athletes in track and field, golf and soccer and how they have coped with Governor Kim Reynolds’ decision to halt sports amid the COVID-19 outbreak and what they plan to do with their newfound free-time. next up, we feature the Ram girls’ soccer team.
The Greene County girls’ soccer program was geared up and ready to hit their stride in year three before a virus stepped in.
The Rams were poised to break free of its infancy and make a statement thanks to a slew of veterans and honed in potential, but they’ll never have a chance since COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the spring sports calendar. Head coach Marilyn Tasler would have led the girls for her third and final season as well, a slew of athletes she’d witnessed grow from curious athletes to students of the game. Despite winning just seven games in their first two years combined, Greene County had all the pieces in place to make a run at exceeding the single-season school record of four wins this spring.
With a talent-rich roster full of athletes familiar with each other, there was no reason not to believe they could achieve wonderful things, Tasler said.
“I always look forward to the soccer season and being (and) getting to know the girls. But this season was special to me because many of the soccer girls I have coached since they were 10-12 years old,” the coach said. “That being said, they are all such a great group of young ladies. They have endured and overcome many things and become stronger physically and mentally; this is just a little hiccup in their lives. I will so miss them all as this also is my last season of coaching soccer.
Stay strong and remember all the memories you have created.”
The Jefferson Herald reached out to a handful of Greene County’s soccer athletes, asking them to address their emotions during a time of confusion and uncertainty. In an unusual moment of history, the female athletes showed incredible poise and a sense of reality that was well beyond their years.
The two seniors featured today were instrumental in getting Greene County soccer off the ground. Audrey Heupel led the Rams in scoring last season and finished her career with four goals while Ashlee Harmeyer scored three career goals. The duo each notched a goal in Greene County’s first-ever win in 2018, a 3-0 shutout of Logan-Magnolia. Sadly, their athletic careers were cut devastatingly short, leaving in its wake a handful of what-ifs and never was. They are without the typical graduation ceremony and won’t witness something they helped build come to a crescendo.
Aubrey Heupel, senior
“The cancellation of our spring sports was really hard for me to accept. It was my final season of soccer and I was really proud of all the hard work every girl did as a new team. I was ready to finish out my last season and my last high school sport with my team.
I was really looking forward to my senior soccer season for many different reasons. The biggest one was that my younger sister, Katrina, and I would finally be able to play on the same team. For years, she’s wanted to play with me, but we were always too far apart in age to be on the same team. This year would’ve been the first, and the only, year that we would have the chance to play alongside each other.
Along with this, I was extremely excited to finish out my soccer career with some of my best friends by my side. All of us senior girls have played together since we can remember and we worked really hard to get a high school soccer program built in Jefferson. I think we were all ready to play our last season together before going off to college.
With this pandemic, all athletes can learn and really work on being self-reliant. We can all hold ourselves accountable to become better in our own time. Even though we do not get the season we were all hoping for, we can go out for a run or work on different skills by ourselves. Just little things that can always help improve any athlete.
Personally, I am still trying to figure (out how to fill the void left by sports). It has been hard getting used to not going to school every day and practice following. Mainly, I am now shifting my attention to preparing for college and different things I can become involved in at Iowa State.
My favorite memory that I will have as a Ram is knowing that I had such a supportive and loving class. The people in my class support each other and I know I could count on them to come to different sporting events to cheer others, and myself on.
I will miss all of the amazing coaches that I have been lucky enough to have throughout high school. They have all helped me develop skills, especially leadership, that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. I will miss the chance of getting to play sports with my friends and having the support of friends and family from all over come watch.
My favorite part of every game was being able to talk with my grandparents afterwards, they have always been the best supporters and proud of everything I accomplish. I am sad with what I have missed out on at the end of my athletic career but I am excited for what my future holds at college.”
Ashlee Harmeyer, senior
With the season ending early, for me as a senior, that means many lasts. My grandma Marilyn Tasler, has coached me and a few of my friends since we were about 10 years old. Not many people can say their grandma has coached them through their whole soccer career.
I have played with Kassie Lamoureux, Kirsten Lamoureux, and Aubrey Heupel since we first started playing. We are now seniors and I wish I would’ve known that last year was going to be the last time we ever played together, and the last time my grandma ever gets to coach us again.
With our soccer program being fairly new, I was super excited just to be part of it. Even if the scoreboard wasn’t always that pretty to look at for the girls, we never gave up, and continued to work harder. I was excited for another fun season full of improvement as we’ve all worked so hard in the short time we were given.
This whole experience has taught me as a student and athlete, to never take anything for granted because you never know when it’ll be your last. Though this wasn’t the outcome anyone was expecting or hoping for, I am forever thankful for the memories I was able to make with such a fun, hard working team in just the two years we were given. And most of all, I am thankful for the endless cheering and support from my grandma.”