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A pillar between the posts
Newport Knights goalie Sydney Tomlinson plays with reckless abandon on the soccer field.
Tomlinson, who has been the starting goalie for the Knights soccer program since the second game of her freshman season in 2011, is ferocious when the ball is in the air near the goal.
"You just can't be afraid," Tomlinson said.
Knights' head coach Jake Savette said Tomlinson is one of most talented goalies in the Class 4A KingCo Division. He also believes she is one of the most underrated players in the area. The Knights won just two games during the 2013 season, which he believes contributes to the lack of attention Tomlinson receives.
"We haven't had the success that we've needed so Sydney doesn't really get the shine that she deserves. She's been one of the best goal-keepers in the league for the past few years," Savette said. "Sydney is the starting keeper on her club team (Eastside FC G96 Red). They are one of the best club teams in the area. She is a big part of that."
The coach said Tomlinson's skills are noticed most when the ball is in flight on corner kicks.
"When the ball is in the air she is just a force. She comes out hard and gets her hands on the ball," he said.
Not only is Tomlinson aggressive, she's a true student of the game.
"She is a great communicator. The best thing about her is that she is vocal. She has no problem getting the back-line (defenders) set up," Savette said. "She keeps our team amped up and charged up. It's exciting and cool to see."
The senior keeper said she enjoys being the leader of the defense.
"There is a lot of responsibility but it's really fun. Sometimes I can make the wrong call which is kind of annoying on my part, but I do the best I can to help the team," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said the Knights soccer team is a close-knit group.
"The team gets along really well together so leading the team is not that hard. We have a lot of fun and we want to make it fun. There is a lot of other really strong teams out there in our league and we know that," Tomlinson said. "If we can just make it fun and come together out there as a team, that's really our goal."
Savette said Tomlinson's stellar high school career speaks for itself.
"She is one of the few keepers at this high school who have started right from the get-go as a freshman. Sydney was a lot shyer when she first came to the team as a freshman. Its great to see her come into her own," he said. "Now she is the leader of the program and is comfortable with that. That's really cool."
Shaun Scott: 425-453-5045; firstname.lastname@example.org