Dynamic duo of women’s soccer

Michael Mebratu and Michael Mebratu

The women’s soccer team found their steady rock defender in sophomore Jamie Kucharski, and their go-getter in freshman striker Kelly Deckers.

The 2009 Vaqueros soccer campaign started brightly with two back-to-back victories where the team outscored the opponents 10-0, thanks to freshman sensation Kelly Deckers who scored four goals in the two games, and Jamie Kurcharski who scored two.

After the dazzling start, the season ended with a nail biting 1-0 loss against Ventura in the season finale. That left the Vaqueros out of a play-off spot and regrouping for next season.

“Before the season, I said to myself that I wanted 15 goals,” Kelly Deckers said. “I scored 17… But next year, I want even more.”

Both of these girls grew up in Santa Clarita, where the game of soccer came natural. They were both introduced to soccer at an early age and their parents were heavily involved in their development. Jamie had her father as a coach, and Kelly had her father pushing her into the game.

“Soccer is a way of life for me,” Kucharski said. “I have learned more about teamwork, responsibility, and how to deal with people through soccer.”

Five-foot-8-inch tall Kucharski, started off playing soccer as a striker, but found more motivation starting as a defender.

“I got put on as a defender once and I just loved it,” Kurcharski said. ” Without the defense how are you going to win? The defense needs to be solid to win the game.”

The lady Vaqueros have only allowed 14 goals all season. Head Coach John Sisterson believes a lot has to do with Kucharski’s leadership and mentality. He named her MVP of the team, and she was a recipient of the coach’s awards.

“She is very conscious, she has been like a mother to the other players,” he said. “She is a very talented player and has everything you can ask of a player.”

Kucharski believes there is more to the game than the efforts of an individual. She explained that the team chemistry is much better than last year and that has translated into working more as a firm unit.

“Everyone is taking part of our defense, all the way from our goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald to striker Kelly Deckers,” she said.

The City College freshman striker Kelly Deckers has been like a breath of fresh air on offense for the Lady Vaqs. She has been tormenting the opposition’s defenders with her sizzling speed and taste for goal.

She got off to a great start by scoring a hat trick in her first collegiate game, and never looked back. The Vaqueros scored a total of fifty-four goals and Deckers notched seventeen of them.

The secret to the Vaqs’ scorer’s success is by working hard and trying to emulate Manchester United star Wayne Rooney and the United States women’s national team all-time scorer Mia Hamm on the field.

“I could never have done this without my teammates,” Deckers said. “But I have always worked hard and stayed after practice to work on drills.”

Although Deckers is used to scoring goals, in high school, Kelly would often get nerves or anxious when she found herself in one-on-one situations with the goalie, but she said this year she has been working hard in trying to improve the finishing touches.

“Kelly has scored a lot of goals this year, she has started to be more composed,” said coach Sisterson. He added that if she continues to work hard and elevate her game, the sky’s the limit.

Both of these players don’t just stay on the top of their game soccer wise, but also academically. Jamie Kucharski — a double major in Journalism and Pre Med — made it to the dean’s list for academic achievement last semester and hopes to continue excelling behind the desk.

“My dream is to continue to play for two years at USC, but I will consider any offers from any school,” she said.

“I want to do well in soccer and school, it is important to have a good education,” Deckers said.