August 18, 2009 9:30:00 AM
Consider the apology accepted.
Krisi Boren is only in her second year as girls soccer coach at Heritage Academy, but she has been around soccer and student-athletes long enough to have seen plenty of things.
Boren faced something after her team''s season-opening victory against Marshall Academy she didn''t expect.
After the game, freshman forward Tori Fields apologized to Boren for not giving her best effort.
The apology was unsolicited and caught Boren off guard.
"I can probably count on my hand maybe two people since I have been coaching here and volunteering that said `I didn''t play my best,''" Boren said. "She told me she knew she didn''t play her best and apologized and said she was going to try harder next time. She was quicker to the ball, she was more aggressive, she took more shots. There was definitely a difference from the first game to the second game."
Fields responded in the second game, scoring four goals to help lead the Heritage Academy girls soccer team to a 7-2 victory against Lee Academy.
For her accomplishments, Fields is The Commercial Dispatch Prep Player of the Week.
Fields had an assist in a 3-2 season-opening victory against Marshall Academy, but she wasn''t satisfied with her play.
Boren said Fields'' talent and ability make it easier to see why she wouldn''t be happy with her effort in the opener. Still, Boren didn''t expect the freshman forward to say what she did.
"The fact that she knows she can play that way and I have seen her play that way, I kind of expect it from her," Boren said. "She knows she can play at that level. I don''t underestimate her. I don''t look t her and say, ''You''re young and you should be able to do this'', or ''It''s OK if you don''t score those goals just because you''re a ninth-grader."
Boren said the fact that Fields is a freshman means nothing because she is a "vital part" of the team. She said her expectations of Fields would be different if she didn''t know she was capable of playing at such a high level.
Fields has been playing soccer since she was 8. She also plays basketball, but she said she got involved playing soccer because her father was the coach of an Under-8 team. She knew right away that the sport was for her.
"I have always loved the game," Fields said. "We watched it a lot on TV and my friends played."
Fields realizes she is a year older and stronger, so she thinks it''s only natural for her to assume a bigger leadership role.
That''s why she felt she had to apologize to Boren after the first match.
"I felt like I had to make up for it," Fields said. "I wanted to score at least two goals, if not more."
Fields said she was really happy to surpass her goals. She said she told herself she needed to try harder to live up the her responsibility to the team.
Her effort proved worthwhile and taught her a valuable lesson.
"I learned that if I tell myself I can do it and push myself it will happen," Fields said. "I knew I could do it because I scored four goals in one game last year."
Boren said Fields'' maturation might have played a role in her willingness to apologize. While Fields played a key role last season in the team''s march to the Division II title match, Boren said she has "come out of her shell" and is becoming more of a leader on the team.
The apology shows Boren that Fields has the potential to accomplish much bigger things.
"I think that shows part of her leadership and part of the leader she is going to become," Boren said. "Part of what makes a good athlete is going back out there and fixing your mistakes and you do it right the next time."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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