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All-Area Girls Soccer: Nomadic life made Slora a heads-up star
By ADAM HIMMELSBACH
Quincy Slora’s father is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, so Slora was often on the move during her childhood.
Her winding route to North Stafford High School requires a road atlas. She has lived in Washington state, Illinois, Idaho, Hawaii, Tennessee, Kansas and Texas.
All this week, The Free Lance–Star sports department unveils its picks for the spring All-Area high school teams.
Here is the schedule:
Here is the schedule:
Wednesday: Track and field
Today: Girls soccer
Sunday: Boys soccer
One thing each of those states had in common was a soccer field. And, really, that was all Slora needed.
With each stop, she picked up something new about the game, either from teammates, opponents, or simply the unique style of play.
As a first-grader, she played on an Army base in Hawaii. Slora described those games—like most games involving first-graders—as “bumble-bee” soccer, in which there is more swarming than spacing.
In Texas, Slora said, there were mammoth soccer complexes, and the fast pace of the games required fast adjustments.
But for Slora, it was less important to learn about soccer in various cities than it was to use the sport as a way to ingratiate herself into new communities.
She was always the new girl, the outsider, and her undeniable athletic ability always helped her fit in quite quickly.
“It helped a lot,” Slora said. “I could find people with the same interest as me, and that gave me a comfort zone, a foundation.”
As a junior at North Stafford this season, Slora appeared quite comfortable.
The midfielder tallied 29 goals and eight assists, and she has been named The Free Lance–Star’s player of the year.
“This year I saw her with four or five people on her, and she’d somehow dribble through everybody,” Wolverines coach Joanne Szymanski said. “And this year, if she didn’t have a shot, she’d make a great pass.”
Slora was named the Commonwealth District’s player of the year this season, and she was a second-team all-Northwest Region selection.
Her high goal total is most startling when you consider what she was usually up against.
In most games, opponents essentially employed a triangle-shaped defense around Slora, hoping she would find teammates rather than the back of the net.
“Quincy is strong and fast, and I think the thing that makes her such a dangerous scorer is she throws her body around the box,” Colonial Forge coach Bronson Gambale said. “She’s not afraid to put herself in harm’s way, a lot of places that most players really won’t go.”
Slora was forced to come up with creative ways around defenses that were designed to stop her, and most often, she was successful.
In past seasons, ironically, the chances she struggled with the most were the easiest ones.
“If it was just me and the goalie, one-on-one,” Slora said, “I would spaz out.”
So at the start of this season, Slora sat down with her father and set some goals that would help her score goals.
She wanted to improve her speed and her left foot, and most of all she just wanted to stay composed in tense situations.
Szymanski made it clear that if a goalie stayed in the net in a one-on-one scenario, Slora should keep charging until the moment was just right.
And this season, when Slora had an easy chance, the result was usually positive.
“Now, if it’s me and the goalie,” she said, “it’s going in.”
Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442