Matherne Kicks It To Win It

Ava Matherne, 7th grade, center, controls the ball during a game.

Ava Matherne, 7th grade, center, controls the ball during a game.

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The score is tied one to one, three minutes left in the final championship game. The other team is dribbling down the middle, but wait! She steals the ball from the opponent, dribbles down the field. The crowd and teammates hold their breath. She shoots! She scores! The ref blows the final whistle and that’s the game. GBMS student Ava Matherne, 7th grade, has enjoyed playing soccer almost her whole life. She plays for the Gulf Coast Texans’ U13 team. Ava’s biggest accomplishment was getting to play in the President’s Cup. The President’s Cup is a state competition for teams all over Florida that must play qualifying matches to get in. It was a great experience for Ava and her team.

According to Ava, she decided to start soccer because her dad played it in college, and she really liked it, too. She enjoys “[playing in the] fall season because it’s cold and you have more energy to play. Also, it’s not so hot so the sun does not drain your energy and you do not sweat as much.” She also says that when you score, your energy is a lot higher and you feel like, “I can do this.” You are more determined to get another goal. Ava’s inspiration is Carli Lloyd, a player on the US Women’s National Team, because she plays the same position as Ava which is attacking center midfielder. The one thing she does not enjoy about soccer is goal keeping. Fortunately she does not have to play it that often.

GBMS student Maggie Feltenberger, 7th grade, is a teammate and a good friend of Ava’s. Maggie says that she enjoys having Ava on the team because she is a good sport and funny at the same time. Maggie also says, “She has good foot work and she makes things more fun for everyone else on the team.”  Torri Matherne, Ava’s mom, says, “Ava has always liked soccer. Even when she was a baby she would watch soccer every afternoon with her babysitters while I worked.” She also said that Ava cares so much about her teammates who are her closest friends.

Ava Matherne looks for a teammate to pass the ball to.

Ava’s parents decided to sign her up for soccer because it is great exercise and good for your coordination, plus it got her outside of the house. Also, Gary Matherne, Ava’s dad, loves soccer! Joe Bartlinski, Gulf Coast Texans U13 coach states, “Ava has determination and focus. Ava works on her game when she leaves training and has that same focus and determination when working on her own away from the field. By her example, other players look up to her.”

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