Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is one of Calgary’s smaller high schools, but Coach Cross must have it bookmarked on his Google maps, because the Miners have two of the Lancers’ girls playing soccer here, at UTEP. Both girls, Amanda Pak, and Hannah Asuchak, are freshmen, two of seven freshmen on the Miners soccer team. The two wasted no time making their presence felt. Both have already worked their way into the starting lineup, Hannah in all five games, and Amanda in three of the five. In the Miners second game of the season, Amanda Pak put the ball in the net twice, and her two goals has her tied with Tess Hall, and Lauren Katada leading the team in goals scored.
I visited with them during a break at practice. Both girls told me that they like it here. It must be a huge change, though, from the foothills and prairie of Alberta to the desert of West Texas. I asked them if they had been signed as a package deal, and they told me that they hadn’t. So, it must have been a pleasant surprise to find that they would be playing together after high school, while going to college, especially 1800 miles away from home.
The girls have been working hard, and the competition has been a step up, but they believe it is going to pay off.
Of the past weekends’ games, the girls felt that the team had played hard. In the Sunday game, the team controlled most of the game, but just couldn’t get the ball in the goal, and then, in overtime, the Miners were just unlucky when the Texas State team was able to score the winning goal.
The two freshmen spoke about the upperclassmen, and how they have helped make the transition easier.
“They are all really supportive,” said Hannah. “They help you out with everything, school and soccer.”
“Yeah, I think most of the upperclassmen are leaders. They’re all just really helpful and nice to us,” Amanda added.
I asked the girls what they needed to work on most, and their strengths, as individuals.
“I would say, probably, finishing,” Amanda said.
“I’d say my juggling,” Hannah said with a laugh. “It’s not my best.”
“What do I do best?” Pak thought aloud. “I’m pretty good at one to one. That’s probably one of the things I do best.”
Hannah said, “I’m aggressive, and fast.”
The girls let their play on the field do most of the talking. Come out this weekend and watch the games, and see what they have to say. Although the two are soft spoken, and then, with few words, my guess is they are being heard, loud and clear, all the way up in Calgary, making the Lancers proud.