Athlete’s Spotlight: Shrewsbury High School’s Gabrielle Auzenbergs
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Team: Shrewsbury High varsity soccer team
Coaches: Scott and Jess Kelly
Notable Stats: 11 points in the 2011 season, ranking her in the top 5 in scoring for Mid-Wach A
What are some of your earliest soccer memories?
“I can remember all the way back to my first year of Shrewsbury Youth soccer. I played on the ‘Pacers’ co-ed U8 team. I also remember my mom coaching my team for three years after that. She helped me gain confidence and learn the basic skills all soccer players need to be successful. She also taught me about teamwork, and respect for all members of the team. We won the league championship in 2007, and advanced to MTOC [the Mass Tournament of Champions], where we placed fourth in the state.”
How do you enjoy playing for Shrewsbury High?
“I love playing for Shrewsbury High. Daily practice brings us so much closer together, as do pasta parties, wearing our uniforms to school on game days, and silent bus rides that get us focused before games. I love the atmosphere of night games, the fans and the pride we all get from after a win. And seeing all those girls again in school the next day is so much fun.”
Which coach has encouraged you the most to succeed?
“The coaches that have helped me succeed the most at SHS would be Jess and Scott Kelly, the new varsity coaches for this 2012 season. They coached our JV team during my freshman year, and they always pushed me to always give my best effort. They kept me encouraged that I would soon make the varsity team, and sure enough, by playoffs of that 2010 season, I was one of the three freshmen that were pulled up to varsity. The Kellys both stress the importance of not letting pride get in your way, and just playing the game as it’s supposed to be played; not making it more complicated than it needs to be.”
Which teammate has encouraged you the most to succeed?
“The teammate that has encouraged me to succeed is Emily Benjamin. She was the captain during my freshman year, and was a tremendous role model, player and friend. Ever since then, I have been striving to be more like her on the soccer field, as well as elsewhere.”
What has been the single most memorable game during your short soccer career?
“The single most memorable game – and moment – in my soccer career is definitely scoring two goals as we defeated Algonquin in the 2011 District Semi-Finals. We had just beaten them in 2010 in the District Semi’s for the first time in years, so they were out for revenge. We split our regular season games with them, so we knew it would be close. Our first goal was very exciting for us as a team because it put us up 1-0 with only 34 minutes left in the game. We stayed focused, knowing there was still plenty of time left to play. The second goal was the most exciting for me, because it happened only a few minutes later. I doubt I’ll ever forget the roaring cheer from the crowd. We won, with a final score of 2-0, and I was honored to have scored both of our goals. “
What are your expectations for this year’s team?
“I expect this year’s team to come together and maintain our reputation as one of the best teams in the league. This year we have a very young team; much different from 2011 when there were 17 upperclassmen on the roster. However, we have a great group of girls, and I think we can fight through any challenge to continue our winning tradition. We must play with ‘23 hearts and one beat.’”
What other sports/hobbies do you partake in?
“I also run indoor track for SHS, and enjoy skiing and snowboarding during the winter. In the spring, I enjoy the tough competition of club soccer, where I am a winger on the NEFC [New England Futbol Club] U17 team.”
Who is your favorite pro soccer player?
“My favorite player is Alex Morgan. She is quick, makes smart decisions, and is a good role model for the teenage girls hoping to take soccer careers to the next level.”
What is your favorite class in school and why?
“My favorite class in school is biology because I like learning about the functions of the human body. I hope to take human anatomy next year as a senior, to learn more about the body in detail.”
What would you like to accomplish in your last two years at SHS?
“I’d like to contribute enough to be recognized as an all-state player before I graduate. Also, I hope to be chosen as a team captain for my senior year. I’d also like our team to earn another chance at winning the state title. In order to be in that position, we need to work hard, stay focused, and remain united as a team.”
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