With Avon senior Erica Primovic’s speed on the soccer turf in the Class L semifinals against RHAM Friday, you wouldn’t know that she’s injured.
“I’ve been pretty good this season without pulling muscles, but I pulled my hamstring two days ago and my groin, as well, second half it was really hurting me,” Primovic said.
The school trainer stretched her out well, though it became tough to bear in the second half, yet she maintained her focus and played her game.
That determined mentality, despite any tournament jitters, was crucial when she stepped up to take her second penalty kick of the season after she was tripped at the six-yard line in RHAM’s box. She works on getting in the mindset for high-pressure situations with her personal soccer trainer, who told her “if you ever get tripped in the box or someone else fouls you, you don’t let anyone else take your kick. You take responsibility. You be confident.” The team practices penalty kicks for 15 minutes or so each practice.
“That’s what I knew what I had to do. I couldn’t be scared or anything,” Primovic said. “I raised my hand and said, ‘I’ll take it’ and I didn’t think twice about it…. Murray tells us ‘never change your spot, always pick your spot. Don’t change it.’”
That first half goal gave Avon the 1-0 victory to advance Avon to the final for the third time. They will play Farmington, who they beat in the semifinals of the state tournament two years ago.
“I’m thinking three’s a charm, but I’m a very unlucky person so I don’t want to get my hopes up really high,” Primovic said. “If we work hard I think we can achieve it. It’s the work ethic we’ve got to put into it.”
If Primovic continues to be a scoring machine, the team has a good shot. She is the leading scorer this season with 19 regular goals and two successful penalty kicks, the other being against E.O. Smith in the second round of the tournament on Nov. 12.
“Every time I go into a game I’m like, alright, I’ve gotta score because, I mean, if I don’t, you never know what’s going to happen,” Primovic said. “It’s a lot of pressure, but you’ve gotta deal with it. You can’t do anything about it.”
When Primovic is not scoring, she is making plays happen. She assisted Caroline Smith’s winning goal against Berlin Tuesday, which she described as a “beautiful” goal.
“She’s got great skills and speed,” Avon head coach Jim Murray said of Primovic. “All season they’ve keyed on her and marked her and she’s been able still to score and get people to ball,” She’s had a great year.”
She hopes the final will also be on a turf field.
“The ball moves fast and I love the challenge of me and another girl going after a ball and trying to get around her and get it or something,” Primovic said. “It really puts my skills to the test like keeping close touches. It’s a lot of fun.”
Now Primovic can recover from her injuries in the solace of a week’s break before the championship game after Thanksgiving, the last game of her high school career.
Editor's Note: Do you know of an Avon athlete who we should feature for Patchlete of the Week? Write it in the comments or e-mail me via e-mail at Jessie.Sawyer@patch.com.