Greenbrier seniors Tiffany Nichols and Keri Wright look like naturals on the soccer field. In the Lady Wolfpack's 5-0 win over Lakeside last Friday, they did their part at goalkeeper (Nichols) and sweeper (Wright).
What fans watching the game might not have known was how awkward it was for both.
"I've played forward and midfield for a long time, but this year I moved to sweeper," Wright said. "It's a weird feeling."
Nichols, who has started on and off at goalkeeper for the past three years, is a little more comfortable at her position, but it hasn't always been that way.
"I never had any formal training as a keeper," Nichols said. "In middle school, there was no one else to do it, so that's how I got into it."
Despite the changes, the friends have still been key in Greenbrier's girls soccer program. The Lady Wolfpack entered the week atop the Region 3B-AAAA standings with a 2-0 region record.
Even after last season's 14-5-1 team lost 11 seniors to graduation, Wright and Nichols said they are comfortable where the team sits this season. More freshmen than seniors started in Friday's game, but the result was another region victory over a big rival.
Both girls said that although there are differences between last year's team and this year's team, some of the changes are better.
"Mainly last year we started to become dependent on certain players," Nichols said. "This year we're so versatile."
Five Greenbrier girls scored in Friday's 5-0 win over Lakeside. Wright scored the third goal of the game with 10 minutes remaining in the second half. Nichols, who touched the ball only five times in the first half, wrapped up another shutout win with five saves.
In four games this season, Nichols has allowed only one goal.
"She does a great job," Wright said. "She yells at me, and I yell at everybody else."
On top of their on-the-field duties, Wright and Nichols also have a responsibility at practices and off-the-field as two of the three starting seniors on a team with six freshmen.
"We have to take care of our freshmen. We pick on them," Nichols said with a laugh. "When I was a freshman the seniors were nice to me. Sometimes they'd help me get a ball. Now that I'm a senior it's, 'Freshmen shag balls. Freshmen get equipment.'
"They're good, but they're still freshmen," she said.
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