By Carol Gralia
Although Schrier trained as backup junior varsity keeper her freshman year and shared the goal as a sophomore, also on JV, her netminding talents weren't in evidence last year. That's because Wilde Lake already had a fine keeper in senior Laura Zimmerman.
Knowing that seniority rules, Schrier opted for a field position.
"There was no point in having me play goal and sit on the bench," Schrier said. So the junior joined the field players and finished the year with seven goals and nearly twice as many assists.
Schrier, who plays indoors for the Herricanes, knew that this would be her year in the cage, and she prepared for it in earnest over the summer, attending two camps and playing in a summer league.
"I've played goalie every year since 10th grade indoors. I had the training, it was just a matter of doing it in the outdoors," she said.
There's much more ground to cover in the outdoor game, and Schrier fiercely protects her territory.
"Gaby really is an excellent goalie," coach Laurie Donnelly said. "She does some things better than some of the college goalies that I've seen, and she's got instincts that you don't see in kids much these days."
"Everyone says I'm really aggressive and that's worked for me rather than against me over the years. The saves come easier if you are right out there," said Schrier, who wants to play college field hockey at the Division I level.
"Gaby's got all the skills and she's got great determination. There isn't anything that's going to stop her unless she gets hurt," Donnelly said, pointing out that Schrier has impressed the competition. "Every coach we've played out of the county has come up and told me what a great job Gaby did."
In the season's first five games, Schrier has totaled 176 saves on 197 shots, a save percentage of .893. She has also successfully defended the two penalty strokes taken against her.
It's worth noting that Schrier has faced so many shots because Wilde Lake has a young inexperienced team and as a result is spending large portions of each game deep on defense. That tests not only Schrier's skill but that of close defenders Angela Bounds and Suzanne Bass, whom Schrier says she relies on completely.
Scoring only one goal thus far this season, Wilde Lake is 0-5, but that does not faze Schrier.
"I know we're having a rough year but I love the team I'm playing with. I wouldn't trade them for anything," she said.
E-mail Carol Gralia at email@example.com.
'Gaby really is an excellent goalie. She does some things better than some of the college goalies that I've seen and she's got instincts that you don't see in kids much these days.'
Laurie Donnelly,Wilde Lake coach