CROWN POINT | Sarah Rivich is going to get noticed -whether she likes it or not.
The Crown Point junior is one of the best strikers in the area. That means she scores goals. That means her name is familiar to the region soccer community.
But don't expect her to seek the attention.
"The team is always more important to her," Crown Point coach Chris Mikrut said of Rivich. "She's happy to get awards and she's got great ability, but the team is more important."
When asked about her success on the pitch, Rivich deflects the praise.
"I fit well with the team," she said. "The other girls really help me a lot."
As a sophomore, Rivich had 16 goals and eight assists. She made the All-Duneland Athletic Conference team, the All-District team and was a Third Team All-State selection the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association. She also started as a freshman.
Her goals this year are anything but selfish.
"I just want to help the team win as many games as we can," Rivich said. "I just want to play."
Soccer isn't the only sport Rivich wants to play, though. She takes time away in the winter to play basketball when many of her opponents are playing indoor club soccer. She still doesn't lose a step.
"You don't see many multi-sport athletes, anymore," Mikrut said. "Sarah finds a way to make it work."
Rivich also spent much of last season with ankle braces on both ankles, amongst other cuts and bruises.
"She was still blowing by kids," Mikrut said. "She's an incredible athlete."
This year, Rivich has some big shoes to fill. The primary scoring threat for the Bulldogs two years ago was Sammy Vercellino, who is now playing for Division I High Point University. Last season, the main threat was Beth Rothrock, who is now at Marian College.
"I'm expecting to be me, to do my own thing," Rivich said. "I'm not really trying to fill those shoes. I'll just do what I do and see how it goes."
Mikrut said Rivich may not be the individual scorer that Vercellino was, but she makes the ball get in the net by any means.
"She does whatever needs to be done to get a goal," he said. "She does an awesome job creating."
Rivich said this C.P. team is hungry after taking a 3-2 overtime loss in the sectional championship to Lake Central.
"I think we can go far. A lot of girls are stepping up," she said. "We all want to be the best we can. We want to get out of the sectional."
The Bulldogs will get their chance at revenge early. Crown Point opens the season against L.C. on Tuesday.