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Titans soccer take Ferry through troubled waters

April 3, 2012 at 3 a.m.
Updated April 2, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.

East goalkeeper Kelsey Ferry dives to make a close save during the second half of the East vs. West game on Friday, March 23, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Athleticism. Attitude. Aggression.

Because Kelsey Ferry has all three attributes, the Titans have an abundance of affection for their sophomore goalkeeper.

Ferry will once again be the last line of defense for the Titans Tuesday night as they travel to Beeville for the Class 4A area playoffs. The game is a rematch of a Jan. 17 contest the Titans lost 3-1.

However, if Ferry continues the form that led to the Titans upsetting Flour Bluff in the bi-district round, there is no way her team can lose. It's one of the most-used adages in soccer: the other team can't win if they don't score.

"I don't know how she does that. She makes the craziest saves," said East defender Katie Williams. "Just when you think they are going in, she's there."

Ferry has produced six shutouts this season, but none more important than the one that allowed East to win 1-0 Friday.

Ferry credits the overall improvement of the team's speed, as well as their aggression defensively for the Titans losing just two out of their last 11 contests after beginning the season 3-8.

And when a team concedes just 13 goals in an 11 game stretch, the goalkeeper also deserves some of the credit.

Her head coach Misty Boenig said Ferry's presence is comforting, yet exciting because of her development.

"Every game I watch her in, she is better," Boenig said. "She has not peaked. She has so much to learn and she wants to learn."

Ferry has always been an aggressive goalkeeper, since she took to the position in elementary school. At the beginning of the season she may not have been as eager to venture far from the goalline, but as she adjusted to varsity soccer, that element of her game returned.

"You can't train a goalie to be aggressive," Ferry said. "It's just getting your mindset where it needs to be. Once the game begins the adrenaline takes over."

In soccer circles, there is usually a joke about the goalkeeper. When parsed of the playful putdowns, the jokes have an element that is universally accepted: it takes someone special, or unafraid to willingly be a goalkeeper.

Make no mistake, Ferry volunteered for the position in fourth grade.

"I tried out for goalie. That's the reason I wanted to play soccer. . I knew Korey (Schroeder). I thought she was the most amazing goalie ever. I thought it would be cool to try it. Her mom asked me if I would want to and that's how I got started."

The former Victoria Memorial goalie even taught Ferry for a little while. But that was so long ago Ferry doesn't recall many of those lessons.

Then again, the way Ferry and the rest of the Titans have played of late the lessons, and their on-field application, are no longer aberrations.

"We are a completely different team," Williams said. "We are so much better since then. We don't want to underestimate them since we've seen them. We have improved and they have improved so it will be a fight to see who wants it more."

If it's a fight in the goalmouth, Ferry is certainly the favorite.

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