Lakewood Ranch junior defender sings as well as she slide tackles.
If you hear a beautiful voice ring through the air at a Lakewood Ranch girls soccer game, it's probably junior Mustangs defender Lauren Beck.
Beck is part of the school's a cappella choir and its advanced women's choir. She has been a singer since she can remember.
Her family would sing her nursery rhymes, she said, and would play her children's versions of Mozart arrangements while she played with her toys. Beck can't say for sure, but it's likely those things contributed to her love of music.
She sings alto in a cappella and soprano in the girls' choir, a testament to her versatility. She has never taken a voice lesson but she did join the school choir in sixth grade and went from there. It turned out to be a life-changing decision, to the point where Beck has considered majoring in music in college, when that time comes.
Beck said she does not have a favorite song to sing, but her a cappella group does arrangements of many pop hits, and Beck said those are often some of the most fun ones. At a recent competition, the group performed a rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence."
Multiple teammates said Beck has the voice of an angel. Beck said she is often coerced into performing at team dinners for the wait staff. She always lets people pick the song if they ask her to sing. As long as she knows it, she's game to perform. It becomes a bit like improv that way, Beck said, making things more fun. As of yet, Beck's teammates have not asked her to create a victory song, but she's aware that it is a possibility.
Mustangs coach Delaney Riggins said she was unaware of Beck's talent until hearing her sing at those team dinners, but complimented both her voice and her positioning as a defender. If Beck's singing brings grace and feelings of peace, her soccer skills elicit opposite feelings in opponents. By the nature of her position, Beck's play is physical. Against Braden River High on Nov. 18, in a 1-0 Mustangs win, Beck consistently muscled Pirates forwards off the ball. She showed an ability to intercept passes and chip balls to the outside of the pitch, clearing any danger.
"People are surprised when I tell them what I do," Beck said. "There's a gentler side of me, but when I get on the field, I am a completely different person. I am mean. I am aggressive. I play hard."
There's something artistic in the Lakewood Ranch girls soccer program's water. Last season, forward Rheana White showed readers her painting skills, and now Beck is showering their ears with music. She does not plan on stopping either hobby any time soon.
"I love balancing both of them," Beck said. "I feel like if I did not have one of them, my life would be incomplete."