Ticketed to play soccer in the fall of 2020 for Indiana University, Haley Anspach could easily demand a little bit more from her Medina girls soccer team.
That’s just not the style of the junior midfielder, however, and the Bees have benefited as a result.
A three-year letterwinner who has been committed to the Hoosiers since May, Anspach sees more benefit in the “we” than the “me.”
“When you have your top players who are unselfish, team-first kids, it just sets the tone for the rest of the team,” Medina coach Doug Coreno said. “I can talk until I’m blue in the face, but at the end of the day, the team is going to follow our leaders on the field even more so than me. Haley sets the example with her unselfish attitude and her incredible work rate.”
While Anspach led the team in scoring last season with 16 goals and four assists, she was just as much the No. 2 to Tara Roller’s No. 1 when the moment was right, as Roller finished with 11 goals and 11 assists.
As a freshman, Anspach had as many assists as goals (9) and was just as happy feeding Roller (24 goals, 11 assists) and Michigan recruit Janiece Joyner (14, 6).
Fast forward to 2018 and the big-time scorer for the Bees is Tennessee commit Maria Nelson, who has 10 goals and six assists.
Anspach has four goals and three helpers for Medina, which entered the week ranked 36th in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com, though the Bees should make a significant jump after beating No. 32 Brunswick 1-0 last week.
“I love scoring, but I love helping other people score,” Anspach said. “It’s just fun to win. When other people score, it brings such a great atmosphere. Seeing the smile, it’s just an amazing feeling. For me to be selfish, it’s just not worth it.”
That attitude has permeated through the team and has shown up all over the stat sheet as Medina has outscored opponents 30-3 this season.
“We’re very good friends on and off the field, so it makes it more fun to play on the field with her,” Nelson said. “It’s her speed and the fact she’s very, very physical. I feel like we have very good chemistry up top. I love playing with good players around me. It makes you better. It makes them better. It’s just fun all around.”
Anspach might be willing to take a backseat, but when a game is on the line, she steps up. A midfielder in name only, she can play up top as well and take over the reins if need be.
It’s why the Bees have gone 38-3-4 in her three years on varsity and head into the week 6-0-1 before a gigantic non-conference match Saturday against Walsh Jesuit (6-0), which is ranked No. 10 nationally.
“No. 1, it’s her athleticism,” Coreno said. “She’s got that rare athleticism and speed that you can’t teach. No. 2, it’s her desire. That kid will literally run through a brick wall. I know it’s cliché, but she just works every second she’s on the field. That’s infectious. Teams will look at their top players and feed off their energy. Haley has a ton of energy.
“She thrives in the spotlight. There are players out there who can score goals in the 4- and 5-0 wins and then they disappear when the lights are brightest. Haley is just a kid who thrives when the moment is big. She lives for those moments.”