Confidence leads to big season for Galas
by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor
Sometimes all a player needs is a little bit of confidence.
For the past couple of seasons, Niagara Wheatfield High School’s Sydney Galas has been looked upon as someone who could score, or set up goals. As her junior year was ready to commence, Galas set extra goals for herself that she wanted to reach, both individual and team.
To say she reached what she set out to do is an understatement. The junior had a great year scoring 27 goals while chipping in 12 assists. Her numbers helped the Falcons to an 11-1 record and the NFL title.
“I felt like i’ve grown so much this past season especially with new girls on the team and switching them in for the amazing seniors that played with me last year,” stated Galas. “I’ve had to adapt and adjust, and it wasn’t hard at all. We got our flow back right when the season started. I set goals for myself like scoring more than I did last year, and I did, and I was determined to help my team win the NFL and win sectionals against Clarence.”
Being counted on to score goals can never be an easy task. A lot of players crumble under the pressure of having to carry the weight of a team on their shoulders. For Galas, she doesn’t haven't to worry about that.
Sure, she is counted on to score goals, but Galas also plays off her teammate in Marisa Rickard.
“I know I can do good things on the field, so all I really need is confidence and have a good attitude going into a game,” stated Galas. “Both me and Marisa have this click and we can read each other on the field, so having confidence and focus, we will dominate a teams defense.”
Being able to just play her game also allows her not have to press as much. Sure there are times when any player feels it during a big game.
Not saying that not scoring doesn’t bother her, but helping the team win anyway possible is what matters for Galas. Galas can’t win an NFL, and Sectional title, by herself. Galas knows it takes an entire team to accomplish the goals that are set out.
“I don’t really let much pressure get to me during small games, but during big games the pressure can be overwhelming,” stated Galas. “I don’t let that stop me from playing how I usually play. Not scoring in my eyes doesn’t matter to me as long as I make good decisions and create other opportunities for my other teammates.”
Opportunities are exactly what Galas is taking advantage off. For most of the season Galas is a striker. Her speed makes her dangerous for other teams to defend. She is the classic striker with amazing speed and good visions.
However, there were times she dropped back and played in the midfield. Knowing strikers, playing the midfield probably isn’t one of their favorite positions. The have to be conscious of the entire field, and not just what’s in front of them in the goal. Instead of fighting it, Galas embraced the change.
She enjoyed the position move. It allowed Galas to see the field differently.
“I mostly play forward during the season because of my speed. In quite a few games I was put at midfield to see how I could adjust for the rest of the game, and I really enjoyed it,” stated Galas. “It was different than usual because I don’t have to track back as much as a forward, but since I have a lot of energy it worked out well for the team and me being there at the time.”
Doing whatever the coach ask is a true sign of a leader. With some seniors graduating before the season, Galas needed to take on a bigger leadership role. She has been in the system long enough that the younger players would look up to her.
Being able to help the younger players if they make a mistake is something Galas relishes. Galas uses her leadership techniques to help the girls. On game days, you could see Galas hyping, and pumping her team up.
“Teaching the younger girls has been an honor. When the younger girls make a mistake I tell them what they could’ve done better and then they can build from that. I usually use my voice the most on game days and in game situations. When a girl makes a mistake she can learn from that mistake and know what to do next time,” stated Galas. “A leadership role looks like someone who uses their voice on the field to bring people up and help them from their mistakes. My leadership techniques are giving my teammates pep talks and hyping them up so they can get fired up and play their game.”
This is also the time college coaches start recruiting. It can be a trying time for student-athletes as they go out and showcase their talents on the pitch. Western New York is a hidden gem when it comes to soccer talent.
There are a lot of girls who recently signed on to play Division I soccer else where. The pressure for juniors could be overwhelming. Now, most athletes have to recruit for themselves. They are sending emails, and tape, on themselves to get noticed.
“What i’m looking for in a school is a good soccer program and good nursing program. I feel like the recruiting process hasn’t been where I would like it so reaching out to colleges will be important for me soon and putting myself out to coaches will be important. Attending ID camps will also help me. I have went to a NU camp so far this year and also made an Instagram account for my soccer highlights, (sydney_galas_2025),” stated Galas. “I think the biggest challenges is competing and going up against other girls who are at premier levels like me who also are in my position, looking to get their selves out there to a coach and be noticed. Putting yourself out there and being noticed can be a challenge and performing good at every game is important to me because you never know who is watching.”