Wakeling becomes major force for Carson
It was a different Isabella Wakeling that stepped on the soccer field this year. She wasn’t an unsure freshman. She was a confident sophomore.
Wakeling has been a major force offensively, scoring 14 goals in leading the Carson Senators to a 11-4-1 record and a berth in the NIAA Division I playoffs. Carson plays Monday at 6 at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex.
“Probably just time,” Wakeling said earlier this week. “I’ve grown as a player each year, and playing club has helped a lot.
“Last year as a freshman I was trying to find myself. I didn’t know what I wanted or how I was going to contribute to the team. Once I got one goal I wanted more and more.”
And the goals came in bunches for the talented sophomore. At one point this year she scored in five straight games, nine goals in all. She quickly became the Senators’ go-to girl. She boasts a team-leading two hat tricks, one against McQueen and one against Spanish Springs.
Wakeling has scored in nine of Carson’s 15 games this year. She has just one score in her last five contests. For a while, it was an aberration when she didn’t score.
Carson coach Greg Lehman feels that maturity is the key to Wakeling’s success.
“She is bigger, faster and stronger,” Carson coach Greg Lehman said. “She works hard all the time; in practice and in games. She has a great attitude.
“She can shoot right footed or left footed. She is strong with either foot. She’s gotten opportunities and finished them.”
That versatility has enabled Lehman to move Wakening around on the field. She can play either wing on the midfield, center midfield and she can play up top, too.
“Outside is what I was used to last year,” Wakening said. “Coach moved me around depending on who we were playing and what the other team was doing. I like playing center forward. I like the role of being the only forward.”
“It does depend on who we play, and how they are defending us” Lehman said. “She brings a lot ofenergy wherever she’s at .”
Wakeling admits it. She likes to score. It gives her a rush.
She isn’t a ballhog, however. She only has one assist this year, but she moves the ball around, always looking for an open teammate.
“Everybody has stepped up their game this year,” she said. “We’re working more as a team this year. Our chemistry is so much better this year. Our chemistry is what’s going to get as far as a team.”
There is a boatload of truth in that statement. The Senators were a divided team a year ago, and it showed on the field. That’s not the case this year, Only in some isolated instances has selfishness shown up.