Hampton's Frey ready for college soccer
Speed, strength and being able to shoot the ball from any angle are some of the skills that have Hampton forward Lauren Frey fielding opportunities to play college soccer. Frey has narrowed her search and listed Point Park and Penn State Behrend as two of the definite frontrunners for her to play soccer and study criminal justice.
“I started playing in second grade, which was later than a lot of kids,” Frey said. “I started with Northern United in sixth grade. It was always my dream to play varsity soccer as a freshman and do well. I want to continue that in college.”
In addition to being a good scorer, Frey also prides herself on setting up her teammates for scoring chances.
“I enjoy getting nice passes, so I try to set other people up, too,” she said.
Although the Lady Talbots soccer program has a storied past with tons of wins and a couple of championships to go along with it, Frey and this senior class were the first in a long time who did not graduate under legendary coach Frank Christy.
A new era began this season with long-time assistant Bill Paholich, who implemented a more balanced attack that Frey said worked well.
“He wanted 10 four-goal scorers rather than two 10-goal scorers,” Frey said. “All of our offensive players scored a little. We also had more goals come from flip throws and headers this season. We were definitely better in the air.”
Frey said this team was an unselfish group, and that is something she expects to carry it into the future.
“It's not about superstar players. Everyone plays equally, and that is when we are at our best,” Frey said.
Frey said she was fortunate to have played under Christy and be the first senior class for Paholich.
“Coach Christy is a neat guy, and it is cool to be able to say I played for him,” Frey said. “If you mention him or Mallory Schaffer, people know (where you came from).”
Frey said Paholich's role increased in each of the past three seasons, so the transition was a seamless one.
“He (Paholich) has done an amazing job,” she said. “He is so smart. He can tell you one little thing that will change the whole game … it's crazy. He knows how to put a lineup together out of whoever he has to get the best out of everyone.”
Now that the season has concluded for the Lady Talbots, Frey said she will miss the girls on the team and the friendships that were forged in summer training and the fall evenings under the lights.
Her favorite memory was last year when the team only lost a few section games. Getting wins over Seneca Valley, Pine-Richland and North Allegheny was a special stretch of the season she will never forget.
“There is a positive attitude that remains with this team, and it will be a good team again next year,” Frey said. “I see success down the road.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.