Quaker Valley goalie Tarris makes transition from ice to turf
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When the seasons change, high school athletes need to change with it.
Students taking part in multiple sports have to train differently, whether it means focusing on more cardio, hitting the weight room or honing in on a particular skill.
But for Quaker Valley's Aubrie Tarris, two seasons collide.
The sophomore is a forward on the QV hockey team that recorded a 20-1 record and reached the Class A state title game. But during the hockey team's postseason run, the girls lacrosse team began practices and preparation for the spring season.
The transition between the ice and turf wasn't always the easiest for Tarris.
“The first day of practice we were running laps and I thought to myself ‘Oh man, I am not in shape for this,' ” Tarris said. “It was hard splitting time between the teams and making the decision of which team would be effected more.”
Despite the hectic schedule, Tarris has looked strong in the net this spring, helping the Quakers to a 3-3-1 start.
It's the first year Tarris is starting as the team's goalie. She played behind senior Emily Jabro last season, an experience that prepared her to take over the starting role.
“I got the chance to watch the game a lot more,” Tarris said. “I got to play a couple of games and ease my way in and be confident at the beginning of this season.”
Tarris' development was aided after she took part in the 2012 U.S. Lacrosse Women's National Tournament last summer as a member of a Pittsburgh team that went 4-1.
The event featured club teams from across the country.
Despite being a sophomore, Quaker Valley coach Nellie Kraus said Tarris has all the tools to succeed at the position.
“She is amazingly athletic,” Kraus said. “Her physical presence helps her. She has a lot of drive and determination.”
But the second-year coach said Tarris needs to continue to work on her confidence, as she still gets nervous against some of the better competition.
“Her confidence can get in the way sometimes,” Kraus said. “As a coach, that is something I would like to develop more. We want to aspire for her to have more faith in herself.”
But there is still a long season ahead and Tarris said she and her teammates are working hard to get better.
“We just want to keep improving,” Tarris said. “That is our main goal. It would be pretty cool to make it to the playoffs, too.”
To return to the playoffs for the second straight season, the Quakers will need to win several key matchups. Krauss said the team will need to be ready to take on Pine-Richland, a squad that is out to a 6-1 start and leads Division I, Section 2 with a 5-0 mark.
And of course, there is always the battle with their neighbor from down Route 65.
“Sewickley Academy is always a big test,” Kraus said. “It is for both teams. Both teams lost a lot of seniors, but I am sure they will have a few new players taking their place. That will be the determination of a lot of what happens for both teams. It always is with our backyard brawl.”
The two rivals were scheduled to meet Tuesday, after this edition's deadline. They also will face off May 9.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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