Riverview goalkeeper Stephanie Tabar has been playing soccer since the age of 8. After her coach
assigned her to the position, she learned to love the challenges of being the team’s last line of defense.
What were your first impressions when you were assigned to play goalie?
It was pretty nerve-wracking; there was a lot of suspense to it. It took awhile to learn, but I picked it up within the first year.
What is the most challenging part of your position?
Getting my hands on the ball.
What do you remember about your first high school game as goalie?
I remember being scared stepping out on the field. It’s nerve-wracking, because you feel like it’s your fault if the ball goes in. I didn’t know how the other team was going to shoot, but we ended up doing really well. We went undefeated my first season.
How have you improved your game since then?
I’ve gotten better at getting my hands on the ball and not being so hard on myself. I used to be really hard on myself. My team helped a lot with that. They would tell me it wasn’t my fault, and that the ball had to get past all of them first. Then, I would just try to redeem myself.
What is your favorite part of the game?
Watching everyone play and making a great save.
Do you have a fondest soccer memory?
Beating Sarasota High School 7–0. They were a rival team, and we knew all the other girls, which can be hard, but it was a rivalry game, and it was so much fun.
What is your biggest strength?
Being motivational to others and helping them out. My parents taught me to be like that.
What is your biggest weakness?
I need to work on my kicks as a skill and on not getting as frustrated if the game isn’t going well. You have to be able to trust your team, and I really do.
How do you build that trust?
We practice every day, and we have team dinners. And on the bus rides, everyone gets to know each other and becomes friends.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself as a new player?
I would tell myself to work harder and to work on my skills more. I think I could be better than I am right now.
What keeps you motivated?
My parents. They always tell me to work hard and do my best, and they come to every game.
Contact Nick Friedman at email@example.com.