This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.04/22/2023 07:35 AM
Liz Allen left her mark on defense on multiple terrains as a multi-sport captain at Valley Regional High School, and through her efforts and dedication to her teams, she has earned herself a path to produce the same prominence collegiately.
After leading the Warriors’ girls’ soccer and basketball squads for her senior season–which included helping pilot the latter club to its first state final berth since 1999–Liz, a senior captain on both Warriors’ squads, will persist with her career on the pitch after committing to Dickinson College to play soccer as a netminder. She additionally finished with 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest on the basketball court in the forward’s final foray for the Class M state runner-up.
“It is a wonderful feeling, because I put in a lot of work,” says Liz on committing to Dickinson. “It was tough during the COVID years, but it all motivated me even more to work at it. It also showed me that the recruiting process is tiring and hard, so to push through that as well is also really nice.”
When it came to being a stopper on the pitch for Valley as a goalkeeper, it drove Liz’s desire to dominate and lock down on defense–paving the way for her to display her tenacity on the floor and being someone who values the big block over the clutch shot.
“As a goalie in soccer, it translated to my defense in basketball quite well,” says Liz. “I found I valued defense more than offense in basketball; I loved locking down on defense over making a big shot. I love the aggressiveness of playing defense and taking charges in basketball. I would be unable to do that and feel like that without playing goalkeeper.”
Liz was one of four senior captains for Valley’s nine-man squad on the hardwood, yet she notes that even with the small size, each leader brought their own intangibles to the table, and the girls got to know each other on and off the floor that much quicker.
“The size of the team led us to be more connected as a group. Each captain had to take on separate roles. We knew each other’s tendencies and what we needed from each other,” Liz says. “Being a captain for both teams was a really nice experience. For soccer, the captains helped put together summer training sessions. We would go to the school once a week during the summer, and it was nice to meet the newer girls before the year started.”
Liz reflects that when she first arrived on the soccer field, she certainly had to adjust to the pace of play at the high school level of the game and increased her swiftness, which carried over to hoops. She adds that being a keeper helped her become a more cerebral and calm competitor.
“With soccer, one of the things I struggled with coming in was the increased speed of play. I worked on my agility, and it translated well to basketball,” says Liz. “With basketball, I was not the best defender, so I worked on my on-ball defense. Goalkeeper is one of the toughest roles in sports, but I learned how to reflect in a healthy way after a goal went in.”
While Liz showed great tenacity defensively and never shied away from the Warriors’ top court assignment on a nightly basis, Valley girls’ hoops Head Coach Jaimie Bickelhaupt adds that she brought some necessary moments of levity as a leader.
“Liz has been the glue to our team. She was a captain this past year and was our defensive go-to player in the guard position,” says Bickelhaupt. “She led the team in charges drawn and was frequently tasked with the job of defending the opposing team’s best player. She was a sound leader; always level-headed, extremely coachable, and so funny. The other seniors loved to work with her, and the younger girls looked up to her. She’s playing soccer in college, and I know that she will make a great impact on that team, both in and out of the game.”
As she looks to study Political Science with potential aspirations in law down the road following her undergraduate tenure, Liz is focused on again adjusting to the flow of the next level of the game.
“I am going to work on adapting to the college game of soccer, because it is much faster, and I want to work on being comfortable in the environment,” Liz says. “I will work on my athleticism and conditioning. Academically, I will study Political Science, and I am unsure about law school afterwards.”
In her final comments on her several campaigns as a Warrior, Liz is grateful for the opportunities the squads presented for her not only to learn critical co-cooperation skills, but additionally to unearth the importance of connecting with colleagues.
“Playing sports at Valley helped me with my collaboration skills and helped me form relationships through sports,” Liz says. “On either team, I never got sick of the girls, and Valley Regional really encouraged those special friendships through athletics.”