Michaela Moore isn’t a selfish soccer player. She’s surrounded by talented teammates, and her Glenwood squad is among the best in Iowa’s Class 2-A.
And yet, the senior is still turning in one of the more impressive individual scoring seasons in the state this spring.
Moore’s rise has been steady since she first started at forward for the Rams as a freshman. Then a newcomer afraid to call for a pass, she still managed 17 goals. She’s netted at least 22 every season since, including 24 so far this year to rank second among all classes according to quikstatsiowa.com.
“Now that I’m a senior, it’s like, ‘Oh, I should be playing the ball a lot more,’” Moore said. “I’m older, and I should help other girls, too.”
Making the scoring binge even sweeter is the Rams’ collective success. They are ranked No. 2 in 2-A and hold an 8-1 record after two seasons that ended with the program’s first pair of trips to the state tournament. Eight other girls also have at least one goal to their credit this year.
Count Glenwood coach Caitlin McIntosh among those thrilled with Moore’s evolution. Her movements are smoother and her shots deadlier. Whereas many of her finishes used to come from one-on-one breakaways, Moore is now anticipating plays — and thus receiving better passes — more than ever before.
In one sense, McIntosh said, she was not surprised to see her speedy forward scoring so much because of the work she puts in. But Glenwood’s group philosophies also make it difficult for any single athlete to pile up statistics the way Moore has.
“We are very team oriented,” McIntosh said. “The only records at our school we didn’t break last year were the individual ones. But we don’t care, because that’s something we never look at.”
Moore admits she has taken a glance. For example, she knows the program’s single-season scoring record belongs to 2007 graduate Laura Leber with 32 goals. And that Leber also holds the career scoring mark of 101 — which puts Moore 10 away from tying with at least eight games left.
“I don’t try to force a goal to happen,” Moore said. “If I know it’s going to be there, that’s when I take my shot. If (the record) doesn’t happen, it’s no biggie.”
When it comes to soccer experience, Moore has as much as any prep athlete around. She grew up playing in Carter Lake and continued to compete almost year-round for indoor and club teams when she moved to Glenwood as a seventh-grader.
She’s always been exclusive with the sport, joking that T-ball never worked out for her early on. College soccer is the hope, but nothing is definite yet.
As one of seven seniors on Glenwood’s varsity, Moore has ego checks everywhere. Her friends and family can also point to the number of times she has tripped on a ball or wound up doing the splits on the field while trying for a possession.
Not quite the individual recognition she had in mind, Moore said, laughing.
“It’s even worse away from soccer,” Moore said. “I’m sort of a klutz, as my mom would call me. She calls me her accident-prone child, except for when I’m on the field.”