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  • Matt Ondesko

Carving out her own niche

By Matthew Ondesko, Managing Editor Photos: Geoff Schneider/Sports Union

You could say that last season was full of ups and downs for the Lancaster High School girls soccer team. The team came in full of expectations but injuries derailed those plans early. It just seemed like the Legends could never get healthy enough to tap into their potential.

It also seemed everyone suffered from the injury big. Whether is was on offense, defense or in the midfield, the only one that seemed safe was the keeper. As the injuries started to settle in, players needed to make adjustments to their roles on the team.

Some would be asked to play midfield, while others traded in their goal scoring and line up in the back end and help stop the goals from going in. There was zero complaining on the squad as everyone took to their new roles.

One who saw herself play all over the field last season was sophomore Kamryn Vanderbosch. Vanderbosch started the season as one of the forwards, but soon saw herself playing central defense midway through the season.

Vanderbosch went from scoring goals to preventing them. She took the switch with a team first attitude and that helped her with her transition.

“Last year it felt like I played every position except for goalkeeper. I take pride in being able to play multiple positions, making myself very versatile. I prefer a defensive role, which is where I settled in late in the season. If I was switched, I was usually made aware of it in advance to mentally prepare,” stated Vanderbosch. Being a center back you must have the mentality of stopping a forward from scoring and doing whatever it takes break up any scoring chances. “You also must have the patients to work the ball out of your end to start the play out of the back end. You want to put ball to feet or look for a quick opportunity to set up a long ball to start a breakaway.”

Vanderbosch is the second Vanderbosch on the Legends roster as her sister, Shea, is the starting keeper. They both were ready to be called up a few years back, but a only one eight grader was allowed to make the team, which was her sister.

Still Vanderbosch didn’t sulk as she put in the hard work on the junior varsity team. She wanted to make sure she showed the coaches that she was ready for the call up if it was ever to come. When Vanderbosch finally did get called it, there was no turning back. Now she enters her second full season the varsity ready to contribute to a team that is ready for the season to start.

“Well originally, I was supposed to be on varsity in eighth grade alongside my sister, Shea. Due to them only allowing one eighth-grader, and Shea beating out the other goalkeeper, I had to then be called up for sectionals,” stated Vanderbosch. “So playing with the older girls was an easy adjustment and it felt like I belonged and I didn’t feel out of place at all.”

Vanderbosch hopes her 2019 season goes better than 2018. Last year, Vanderbosch was one of many Legends to fight the injury bug. She knows if she can stay healthy she could be primed for a breakout year.

Also, staying healthy means that the Legends could be ready for a breakout season. With so many girls back, Lancaster is poised to live up to expectations, and Vanderbosch is ready to anchor a strong defensive group.

“Last year we started off well then got hit with injuries, which effected the team and our mentalities. In the offseason, as a team, we started captain’s practices early to get in some team bonding. Personally, I have done Matt Waddington’s Premier Summer Academy and Aaran Lines Soccer School in the offseason,” stated Vanderbosch. “I stretch and I ice because of the constant work that my muscles are going through the season. Then again, every season is like the rest, I am always working hard. I mean I have never really taken a break but I am used to the routine and I love playing the game.”

To make sure she is ready on the pitch, Vanderbosch, along with her Shea, made the switch from Global Premier Soccer (GPS), to the Western New York Flash. Playing with the Flash allows her to play in the ECNL, which is one of the best leagues in the country.

Playing against some of the best competition can only make Vanderbosch a better player. It also allows her to be looked at by more college coaches. The Flash have a reputation of sending their girls to a lot of Division I schools each and every year.

“GPS has given me great opportunities over the years, along with some great coaching, and being able to play up an age group especially in National events,” stated Vanderbosch. “Moving to Flash has been a great experience full of great opportunities to come playing in the ECNL. We have been practicing with the team since January. Practicing with some of the top players in WNY is one best way to push your limits. I am also looking forward to learning and playing for Coach Aaran Lines with his professional experience.”

Now she is ready to make a name for herself. Being a sister of the keeper is tough enough. Being a twin sister is even harder, but Vanderbosch doesn’t let that get to here. They have a friendly rivalry on and off the pitch, which is seen during practice and even during a recent photo shoot.

There will also be competition between the two. But, Vanderbosch is ready to carve out her own niche as a top defender in Western New York and beyond.

“I started carving my niche the year before after being called up to varsity for sectionals. I knew I had to be physical, fast, and technical to show I belonged,” stated Vanderbosch. “Those things translated over to the next season, and I worked hard in the offseason to take my play to another level.”

When give the opportunity to say who the best athlete in the family was Vanderbosch took the high road. Maybe she knew if she said herself practice would get a little bit harder.

After all, being a center back, Vanderbosch does have to listen to her goalkeeping sited bark out orders all the time.

“When it comes to who is a better soccer player between my sister and I, It’s not comparable,” stated Vanderbosch. “I am a much better field player and Shea is a much better goalkeeper.


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