2011 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Sarah Tarver scored her first goal of the 2012 college soccer season on Sunday in the UNLV Rebel Classic at Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tarver, a sophomore midfielder for the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks, scored the teams first and only goal against Oklahoma University in a 3-1 loss to the Sooners.
“I was pretty excited, it pumps you up definitely,” Tarver said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
Tarver’s shot came in the eighth minute off a throw-in from freshman Demi Schmieder at the middle of the pitch.
Tarver hit the power shot from 25 yards out over Sooners’ keeper Kelsey Devonshire into the upper half of the net.
“We have a lot more freshmen on the team this year than last year,” Tarver said. “Just getting to know half the team again is definitely new. And with that, just finding out our relations and who is where and all that, but it is a good thing.”
Tarver missed wide on another attempt shortly after, as did freshman teammate Haley Wingender. The Sooners tied the game in the 24th minute and score again in the second half at the 57th minute and the 70th minute.
Oklahoma (3-2-1) held an 18-13 shot advantage in the game and had three corner kicks to NAU’s one.
“My progress is coming,” Tarver said. “I am just trying to improve every day. I know what to expect this year but there is always good competition against other teams and within our own team. My position on the field is definitely not secure, you have to bring it every day in order to play on the field.”
Tarver plays basically the same position in college she played for the Crimson Bears.
“In college they expect you to be able to be a lot more mobile,” Tarver said. “And in a lot better shape. The intensity increases a lot, that has been the main difference for me really. Just improving your skills and all that goes with that.”
Playing college soccer is a year-round endeavor. NAU plays in the fall season and depending on how far they go into the playoffs it could last until November.
Winter break involves weight lifting and other sport specific activity. The Spring season starts in February and last until the end of school. Then weight lifting begins again during the summer.
“It is definitely a year long job, pretty much,” Tarver said. “It is definitely worth it. Definitely.”
The Lumberjacks (1-4) have a road trip next weekend to Northern California with matches against San Francisco on Friday and UC Davis on Sunday.
“We have been playing some pretty tough teams to start the season,” Tarver said. “The more games we play, the more experience we get under us, we will be able to improve and fix the things we have trouble with. We will keep growing.”