Mountain View girls’ soccer coach Fernando Ramos saw all he had to see when as a freshman, Megan Watts, willingly took penalty kicks, though she often played defense at the time.
That fearlessness and confidence helped him decide to move her to the front line last year and the results were a breakout season for both her and for the Wildcats.
Mountain View came within a whisker of a Group 5A state title last season, losing to Albemarle 1-0, in the game’s final minute, a minute when Watts could not play because of an injured toe. Despite the disappointment, the season was nothing short of scintillating individually for Watts, who scored 33 goals and tallied seven assists.
“I saw an intelligence moving off the ball and a confidence that told me we [could move her to forward]. I absolutely put pressure on her last year,” Ramos said. “I told her, ‘You’re a two goal a game player and we’re going to start every game up 2-0. You’re going to [help] take this team to states.’ Everything I told her before the season held true.”
This season, however, will be much different. A few players from last year’s team have will play for their academy teams instead and some new freshmen players have been added to the mix. Also Watts, who was given the captain’s role by Ramos, will likely be double-marked and it will be difficult for her to have as many opportunities as she had during the regular season last year.
“We have changed our tactical approach on things this year,” Watts said. “That change doesn’t really affect me. The only thing that matters to me is winning. I like being unselfish with the ball when I have to, so giving the ball to other teammates to help us score is fine with me, too.”
Watts, whose step-father is Mountain View principle Jim Stemple, has committed to play for Old Dominion, despite being just a junior this season. Watts said when she visited the campus and met the team and coaches, she knew it was a fit.
“I had looked at a couple of places, but I wanted to be close to home and they had my major, which is physical therapy and when they offered me a scholarship, everything fell into place,” Watts said.
Ramos said Watts has embraced the captain’s role.
“Since practice began, she’s become a lot more vocal,” Ramos said. “She’s not only leading the group well as the captain on the field, but she is also leading them off the field. The thing for her this year might be to trust her teammates a bit more and her leadership will help with that. She’s probably going to have to give the ball to get the ball more than she had to do in the past.”
Watts said getting so close to the big prize of a state title last year, as well as the infusion of new talent this year, has motivated her even more.
“It was kind of frustrating to lose the way we did last year and for me not to be out there because of my toe,” Watts said. “But I think we have a lot of motivation [to repeat] this year. We have a lot of talent and that motivates me. I am working twice as hard to get back there. I am going to have to be directing things more and setting other people up so we will get to where we want to go.”
Source : http://www.insidenova.com/sports/stafford/mountain-view-s-megan-watts-keeps-opponents-on-their-toes/article_23827dd6-262d-11e8-b3d2-cbb7b70dd1d7.html