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Little sister's time to shine
by Aaron Retherford
Sep 21, 2009 | 461 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High senior Kelsey Gomer eyes the goal while dribbling by a McQueen defender during the Raiders HDL opener two weeks ago. Gomer leads the RHS club in scoring this fall.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High senior Kelsey Gomer eyes the goal while dribbling by a McQueen defender during the Raiders HDL opener two weeks ago. Gomer leads the RHS club in scoring this fall.
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Reed’s dynamic duo of Kayla and Kelsey Gomer was a force to be reckoned with last season as the Raiders went on to win their third straight 4A North state girls soccer championship.

It seemed that every goal the Raiders tallied was either scored or assisted by one of the Gomer sisters.

But with Kayla, last year’s High Desert League Offensive Player of the Year, graduated and now attending BYU in Provo, Utah, it’s Kelsey’s time to shine.

In her junior season, Kelsey Gomer was a facilitator and most of her 20 points came from helping on teammates’ goals. She led the team with 13 assists and earned first team all-league forward honors. However, she’s now coming into her own and emerging as a prolific goal scorer, recording six of Reed’s 12 goals through its first four games.

“Last year a lot of teams doubled Kayla, so she (Kelsey) was able to step up,” Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville said. “This year she’s the one getting doubled. She’s a phenomenal athlete with incredible speed. She’s got a great work ethic.

“She misses her sister because they had that telepathic connection. They didn’t even have to really look to see where the other one was. She’s a good player in her own right, and hopefully she continues to get better as we move forward with league.”

A lot of her goals come from her blazing fast speed. Even slowed down by dribbling a soccer ball, she’s still as fast if not faster than most on the soccer pitch.

“It is scary. Instead of dribbling around a defender, we’d like to see her attack somebody, get them on their heals and then pass the ball into space and blow right by them,” Saville said. “There’s not a defender in the league that is faster than her. Once she’s by, there’s not anybody who’s going to catch her. It’s a nice luxury to have. There are two things you can’t coach. You can’t coach heart and you can’t coach speed and she has both of them.”

While her older sister was part of all three North state titles, the younger Gomer will have a shot at being on the field for four straight crowns, a rare achievement for any high school athlete. She was a late-season call-up as a freshman, but since then she has played a pivotal role in the team’s success as a three-year starter.

“It would be amazing. It would be a great opportunity,” Gomer said of a fourth state title. “Nothing could beat that feeling of winning again and working that hard to succeed four times.”

Gomer, who has played soccer since she was about 10, hopes to play soccer at a four-year college. She has not seriously started talking to coaches though.

Currently, she’s just working hard to help the Raiders make it back to the state championship. She believes if the team continues to work hard and play for each other, it will have a good chance at a four-peat.

Gomer is one of four captains along with seniors Jordan Sambrano, Alissa Marshall and junior Savannah Gobelman.

Gomer has always been one of the more passive players, but Saville said she has stepped up with organizing team-bonding activities and has become vocal on and off the field.

Gomer enjoys the added responsibility as well.

“It’s really interesting for me. It’s a lot of fun to be a leader to the girls who are younger,” Gomer said. “It’s just great working with the other captains we have because they’re right next to me and help me a lot as well.

“It’s definitely more challenging this year because it’s weird to think I’m an upperclassman and the younger girls look up to me. So I have to step it up a lot more and motivate myself more to be better and work harder.”

Saville will have had both Gomer sisters in the Reed soccer program for four years apiece, but he knows his time with the family of soccer stars is limited.

“It was a bummer to lose her sister, and it’s going to be a bummer to lose her. There was one more (sister) coming up, but unfortunately she’s moving to Utah. This is kind of the end of the line,” Saville said.
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