Different Roles, same goals


Bryce Auster, Sports Editor

Both scream with good intentions, both want the best for their team, both believe in their team, both want to help deliver WJ girls’ soccer’s first state championship. Where they differ, however, is their experience and level of expectations this season. Senior forward Cammie Murtha is coming off a stellar junior year and has scored seven goals through the first three games this season. On the other end of the spectrum is Emmie Mills. Mills is one of two freshmen on varsity this year, and is just hoping to gain respect from her teammates and prove she belongs on the team. Despite their roles being different, they both have the same goal, and both want to contribute in any way to help achieve that goal.

Since she first set foot on the WJ soccer field, Murtha has been the team’s best player. She played on varsity her freshman year, and during her sophomore year she committed to the University of Tennessee, to play in college before changing her commitment to the University of Wisconsin her junior year. That same year, she scored 29 goals and tallied 15 assists. Murtha has grown accustomed to the lofty expectations of her on the field as both a player and a leader. So it would seem difficult to imagine that she would be thrust into a new role this season, but this season will be her first year as a captain, which will bring new responsibilities..

“Now I’m like an off the field leader as well…I’m trying to get everyone focused for the games,” Murtha said.

While Murtha is not very familiar with trying to motivate her teammates off the field, on the field it is a different story. She is very vocal and tries to communicate with her teammates on every play. Sometimes, her vocality could be misconstrued, at least in her eyes, as meanness. She isn’t trying to be mean, she does want to hold her teammates accountable and bring the best out of them. Despite her stardom, Murtha still needs extra motivation for games. She is energized by her teammates excitement and their own motivation to do well, which helps provide her with that extra spark.

Entering her freshman year, Mills does not have the same pedigree as Murtha. She isn’t being recruited by top schools, and she isn’t expected to score many goals, however she is still expected to perform well and help the team win. Mills is still a little intimidated to speak her mind due to her inexperience and, even though she scored a goal in their 6-0 win over Wilson High School and had an assist in a 3-0 win over Bishop Ireton she still describes her role on the team as more of a supportive one. She still speaks her mind and is very vocal on the field, crediting the coach for creating a supportive environment. She will do whatever the team needs her to do in order to make the team better. While Mills does care about her own individual stats, she cares more about how the team performs.

“Everybody is working together to achieve the same goal…to win” Mills said.

Could this be the year WJ girls’ soccer wins their first state championship? They’ve practiced and worked very hard preparing to face the best teams. The team has already illustrated their superiority over other teams, winning their first five games 8-0 versus Clarksburg High School, 5-1 versus Bullis High School, 4-0 against BCC High School, and beating Wilson High School and Bishop Ireton, which has lead to a ranking of sixth in the state. WJ lost to Whitman 1-0 on Tuesday September 21, and beat Churchill High School on 2-1 September 23, but despite the loss they remain optimistic.

“It’s looking good for us,” Murtha said.