Coach Steve Hoffman asks a lot from his forwards for the Lake girls’ soccer team.
One task in particular, however, is crucial to the Flyers' success.
"Their job is to score goals," Hoffman said, "and set people up to score goals."
No one did that better for Lake - or in the Suburban Lakes League - than Flyers sophomore forward Drew Plummer, who was voted the SLL Player of the Year.
Plummer scored a school-record 22 goals this season and added five assists. Senior teammate Heather Cox, who had 16 goals this season, held the old school record of 11 goals in one season.
Lake, which has had varsity soccer for five years, went 12-4-4 this season and reached the regional semifinals. The Flyers went 6-0-2 in the SLL to win the inaugural league title.
The 5-9 Plummer said she was surprised to garner the league's top individual honor.
"I wasn't expecting it," she said. "We have really good players on our team and on the other teams. Winning it boosted everyone's confidence. Everybody noticed Lake."
Hoffman, the Flyers' first-year coach, listed a number of reasons why Plummer was so prolific at getting the ball in the net in 2008.
"She has pretty much everything," he said. "She's aggressive and she doesn't quit. She's fast and she can handle the ball with both feet and will shoot with both feet from anywhere on the field. She's not afraid to shoot left-footed from 30 yards out. I don't know a lot of boys who can shoot from 30 yards."
Said Plummer, "Last year I wasn't as good as this year with my left foot. I just got good at that, kicking and dribbling."
She added that one of her main goals was to help her teammates on the field from an emotional standpoint.
"I encourage everyone," Plummer said. "I love carrying the ball and making sure everyong does OK on the field and making sure no one gets down on themselves."
Hoffman concurred, saying, "I can't stress enough how she almost always has a smile on her face. She keeps us motivated."
Plummer was an All-MSSL defender a year ago, when she earned all-league honors. The move to forward this season, she said, was difficult early on.
"At first it was kind of hard," she said. "I love defense and I missed it when he put me at forward. I adjusted real well. I made sure I was always on the ball. It was rough at first, but once you get used to it, it's pretty easy."
Hoffman said Plummer is talented enough that she could "probably play 11 different spots" on the soccer field.
"She's good enough to be our goalie, she's that mobile side to side," the coach said. "She's not afraid to do the dirty work and she's not the prima donna to stand up front and wait for the ball to come to her. She basically dominated the league. She had a great season and got rewarded with player of the year."