Soccer is Nicola Sperrys life.
Sperry works hard on her game at every opportunity
AMHERST Soccer is Nicola Sperrys life.
Shes on the go almost every night of the week to play the sport she loves. She goes to Halifax every Tuesday for practice with the Soccer Nova Scotia under-14 provincial team. She practices each Thursday with the Highland Knights tier one under-14 team of the Nova Scotia Soccer League. She plays games on the weekend. Then there are training sessions, tryouts, and games that arent regularly scheduled.
"I dont really like having to travel, but its worth it," said the 14-year-old defender. "Once I get there its fun, its just the thought of having to travel."
All the travel is paying off, though. Knights coach Mike Cavanagh has seen her make huge strides in her second year under his guidance.
"Shes come a long way. Being in the provincial program has helped her a lot with her technical ability," Cavanagh said. "Shes learned the game of soccer. Shes learned what should happen when now."
He said shes his top defender because shes a great tackler and knows how to strip the ball from opponents. He also said other teams are scared to face her.
"Shes the defensive presence on the team. Shes very physical, hard-working, defensive player," he said. "Shes known in the league. People dont like to go (near her). Shes an enforcer, really."
Sperry is will compete for Nova Scotia at the Aliant Cup Under-14 Atlantic All-Star Championship this weekend. Her under-13 squad won the title last year in Newfoundland and she expects the same outcome this time in Halifax.
Shell also be going to Montreal with the provincial team for the national championships July 23-29.
Her dedication to soccer has created many opportunities so far. Her Knights coach believes more are still to come.
"She could easily carry this into the university level no problem," Cavanagh said. "If she keeps playing and progressing at a steady pace theres no reason why she couldnt get a scholarship somewhere for soccer."