PANTHER OF THE WEEK: Junior move-in Brooke Briscoe adjusting quickly

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Liberty Hill junior Brooke Briscoe (#14) controls the ball during the Lady Panthers’ undefeated weekend. At the CenTex Tournament, Briscoe scored five goals in four games while adding three assists as her team went 4-0. (Shannon Hofmann Photo)

By LANCE CATCHINGS

Brooke Briscoe has only been a Liberty Hill Lady Panther for a short time, but she has made her presence on the soccer field undoubtedly known. The junior move-in played a huge part in helping the Lady Panthers to a first-place finish at the CenTex Tournament in Killeen. Briscoe said she went into the tournament just trying to give 100 percent.

“Going into the CenTex Tournament, I did not really know what to expect competition-wise, because I am new to Liberty Hill,” Briscoe said. “All I knew is that we’re a 4A school in a tournament with 5A and 6A schools. We went into the tournament with the mindset of sticking together, and we pulled through and won all of our games. It was a really good weekend for us. I didn’t know anything about the teams we played, so I went into every game wanting to give 100 percent. I went in with a focused mindset and just tried to get past each opponent to the next game.”

Changing high schools can be a tough transition on any student-athlete, but Briscoe said the students, teachers and coaches at Liberty Hill have been extremely welcoming.

“I moved to Liberty Hill in the summer of 2017 from Springfield, Missouri,” Briscoe said. “I was pretty bummed out when I found out we had to move. I was going into my junior and senior year, and I was leaving all my friends. I was leaving the place I grew up, as well, but when I got to Liberty Hill, I fell in love with it. I really like it here. The soccer team has made it really welcoming, so that helped the transition. It’s a great group of girls, and Coach Bauer is a good coach, which has all helped, as well.”

Briscoe’s move could not have come at a better time for the girls’ soccer team. After graduation last spring, and new talent playing at the varsity level for the first time, the team needed players with some experience under their belt, and Briscoe has 10 years of it.

“I don’t mind being in a leadership role for our team,” she said. “I have high confidence in all of my freshman teammates. They have performed great under pressure so far this season. It’s a new team, because we have a lot of freshmen, and I am new, as well. We are still learning to mesh together, but it is going well, so far, and we all have a great team bond. The freshman girls will have to adjust to the varsity level pace of play and the size and speed of the teams we play. We have been working in the weight room, and we are getting better and stronger every day. If we play our game and possess the ball, then size won’t be that big of a deal for us.”

Briscoe was named to the All-Tournament Team at the CenTex Tournament after scoring five goals in four games and adding three assists. In humbling fashion, she takes none of the credit herself. While the offense she put up was impressive, she takes even more pride in the team’s defense.

“Winning at CenTex just shows how strong we are, especially at defense,” she said. “We played four games, plus the scrimmages, and have not allowed a goal yet, which is really saying something for our defense. Also, our offense has gotten the job done, and it’s really good to see that. I feel like we can play anyone right now. I feel I played well to help us score, but it was definitely a team effort. Coach Bauer has helped me a lot with pushing the attack and when to go and not to go. He has become a great coach to me already, and I feel we have even more room to improve.”

As she continues to adjust to her new home, Briscoe is simply enjoying the opportunity to soak in her new surroundings.

“I am loving every minute of this season,” she said. “I look forward to going to practice every day and thinking about the tournaments we have coming up. I enjoy being with the girls. This is a pretty fun job. I always try to set an example by going hard at every practice, and hopefully the others follow. I am really thankful for Coach Bauer and this group of girls. They are making me a better soccer player, and I am thankful for them being so welcoming and bringing me in to the Liberty Hill family.”

Lance@LHIndependent.com

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