FRIENDSWOOD — Life, as Klaryssa Heussmann has learned, can place one in the perfect place even when at first the person may not want to be there.
After moving to Friendswood from Allen last summer, Heussmann, a sophomore, tried out for the Lady Mustangs soccer team in hopes of earning a roster spot as a defender. Instead, she found her way into the role of starting goalie and has become a key part in Friendswood’s run to the Class 4A semifinals.
“I have to admit that I wasn’t happy when originally asked (to change positions),” said Heussmann, who has 16 shutouts and is a strong candidate for District 24-4A Player of Year honors. “I wanted to play, so I played where I was asked to.”
Friendswood coach Laura Peter saw something in her new player.
“She had the right attitude about it,” Peter said. “Right away, I knew she had the potential to be great, especially with how she performed in scrimmages and early in the season against 5A teams.
“She’s been a big presence,” the coach said. “We’ve had great goalkeepers here in the past, but I’ve never had one of her stature. She’s everything that you would want from a goalkeeper.”
District opponents learned that getting past Heussmann was a rare act, as she allowed just four goals in 15 games, including a stretch of six straight shutouts March 4-27.
Heussmann has been just as tough on the Lady Mustangs’ path to today’s state semifinal game against Wylie East, allowing just two goals, one of which was an own goal.
“I’ve got used to playing the position as the season went on,” Heussmann said. “We have such good chemistry as a team. We are all on the same page every game.”
Heussmann’s keeper counterpart in today’s state semifinals will be Brooke-Lynn Scoggins, who has eight shutouts in her last 10 matches, including a 1-0 win over Highland Park that put Wylie East into the final four for the first time.
In a season filled with highlights, Heussmann feels that her best game (for now) was the Lady Mustangs’ second-round win over Stratford, which was decided in a shootout. Heussmann made two huge stops early in the contest before denying the Spartans on their last two chances in the decisive session.
“The biggest challenge was figuring out which way they were going to go with their kicks,” she said.
The accolades will come for Heussmann once the season ends, as will college offers. Once they come, she will be ready to listen.
Even if it means playing goalkeeper.
4A girls soccer state tournament
At Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex
• Friendswood (22-4-3) vs. Wylie East (23-1-1), 11 a.m.
• Austin Vandegrift (17-3-2) vs. Northwest Nelson (22-2-5), 1 p.m.
• Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.
TICKETS: $5 students; $10 adults