WARSAW – The last time Abby Schue stood in goal for the Lady Tigers was in last season’s regional final against No. 4 St. Joe. The Lady Indians bombarded Schue and the Warsaw defense with shots and pressure all night, leading to a 3-1 Lady Tiger defeat, the third straight year Warsaw had fallen in the regional title. Then Warsaw head coach Dan Miller described St. Joe as having a “killer instinct” to get to the goal. That game has stuck with Schue ever since that night and has only motivated her for her final season in the black and orange.
“That was the second year in a row that we lost to St. Joe and it really pumps you up for the season. You just want to get back out there and be able to beat them and advance further,” Schue stated.
This season for Schue has a different feel then the last few. The team lost a star-studded group of seniors last season and will definitely have some holes to fill this year. The Lady Tigers have also welcomed in a new head coach in Peter Lucht. While switching coaches could certainly shake up a player going into her final season, Schue has embraced the alteration.
“It is definitely different but you have to be able to deal with changes. At the beginning it was tough to just get the feel for it but now I feel like we have really improved and come together as a team,” said Schue.
The team aspect is an important one for Schue. One main goal for her this year is to make sure the team grows closer together. With Schue’s bubbly personality and infectious smile leading the way, bonding should come naturally for the team. That positive attitude was noticed quickly by Lucht and played a part in him naming Schue a captain for the 2013 season.
“Her ability to lead the team from the goal and help get girls in position from everything that she sees happening on the field is important,” stated Lucht. “She is an amazing individual. You just a get a brief idea of who she is in an interview, I get the privilege of coaching her. Abby has great humor and is a great leader by example.” Lucht added smiling.
“Just her all-around willingness to lead by example is one of the biggest reasons I picked her to lead us as a captain. She is part of a great core of girls that we have from last year’s team, a group that I feel blessed to coach. I am just really privileged to have her on the team,” Lucht finished.
While the Lady Tigers will be benefiting from all that Schue brings to the table this season, next fall another local school will have the privilege of calling Schue one of its own. In July Schue made the announcement that she will be continuing her playing career at Grace College. A decision that was all too easy for the goalie to make.
“I really like the environment that Grace has. The team is really close, I love that. They are very Christ-centered and really play for Him,” Schue said of her future team. But it was not just the team that attracted Schue to Grace, “The school also offered so much for me. They have my major, Exercise Science, which was obviously a big selling point. The main thing was the community feel that I get when I go there,” added Schue.
Schue made it clear that she has a few goals she plans on accomplishing this season before she hangs up her Lady Tiger jersey for the last time.
“One of our goals is to definitely win conference,” stated Schue, a 2012 first team All-NLC selection. “As for the post-season, we are focused on winning sectionals this year but we really want to make it further then we have in recent seasons. We really just want to get past the regional championship,” Schue added.
Finally, Schue was asked about what has to happen this season to leave a smile on her face, the senior did not disappoint with her response.
“This year we are really stressing bonding as a team,” Schue said. “When all the girls come together and we all have fun and play soccer, I really think that’s what it’s all about. If winning comes with it, that’s great, I love to win, but we want to have fun in the process,” finished Schue, stamping her statement with that infectious smile at the end.
Schue and the Lady Tigers kicked off their season this morning with the Warsaw Jamboree against Northridge and Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian. The Lady Tigers will play again this Monday when they host Culver Community at 5:00 p.m. at the WCHS Soccer Complex.