Player to Watch: Olivia Szeker-Cortes, Clarkstown South
At the beginning of the 2011-12 season, Clarkstown South striker Olivia Szeker-Cortes wasn't even in the starting lineup.
Of course, that didn't last long.
Szeker-Cortes eventually made her way off the bench and broke onto the Section 1 girls soccer scene in a big way. The freshman phenom proved to be a goal-scoring machine, leading the Vikings with a team-high 19 goals to earn all-section honors. She also added three assists.
"As soon as she got in, she just kept scoring goals," Clarkstown South coach Tom Rolston said. "She moved her way into the starting lineup very quickly."
Pretty impressive stuff for a freshman, right? But Rolston had an inkling of what was to come.
"I've known her for a few years, so I knew she was going to be one of the players to look out for as a freshman coming in," the coach said. "I didn't know how she would exactly fit in with the team, but I thought she'd be a big help for us."
Szeker-Cortes, who was named to MSG Varsity's All-Hudson Valley second team, was that and more, embracing and flourishing in the role of a pure finisher.
"She's just a straight-up goal-scorer," Rolston said. "She's got strength and can shoot the ball from pretty much everywhere and have a chance of scoring."
Szeker-Cortes suffered an ACL injury during this past club season, but Rolston expects her to be back to help the Vikings in the fall.
"She's willing to work hard and put in everything she can do," he said. "She's hoping to get back to where she was last year. I have no doubt she will be back up to full strength again."
And that's bad news for the rest of Section 1 — especially the goalies.
Visit MSGVarsity.com each weekday this summer as we unveil the next athlete on our Players to Watch list. Click here for the complete list.