GRIFFITH | As a sophomore, Griffith's Cindy McInerney played sweeper.
The Panthers lost some scoring up front after that season, so McInerney moved up front and played forward. This year, her senior season, she's a center midfielder — the "quarterback" of the pitch.
No matter where McInerney plays, though, Griffith knows it can count on it's leader.
"She's as talented as anyone out there," coach Wally Kudyba said. "I trust her. I know I can depend on her."
Kudyba's trusted McInerney to the tune of 10 goals and seven assists this season. Those are pretty impressive numbers considering she's no longer a striker, her preferred position.
"I love forward, but I think it's more appropriate to play midfield right now," McInerney said.
McInerney thinks the middle is the place she needs to be for the Panthers because from there she can have an influence on a higher percentage of the game.
"(Playing midfielder) is a totally different mindset," she said. "You have to make everything mesh.
"On defense, the mentality is to move the ball up and on offense the mentality is to score."
In Kudyba's system, a lot is asked of the spot McInerney plays. He says he needs an athlete who is both skilled and smart enough to fill multiple roles.
"Cindy is very versatile," Kudyba said. "It's awesome to have her. There are not a lot of players of that caliber."
As a senior and captain, McInerney has to be a leader on and off the field.
"I do see myself as a leader and I feel like I know the game really well," she said. "I really try to be as positive as possible and encourage (my teammates)."
After a 6-0 start, Griffith suffered a few injuries and some tough luck. At one point, the Panthers had an inside track to the Northwest Crossroads Conference title. McInerney hasn't given up on her team, though.
"We just need to get our spark back," she said. "We need to find it inside ourself to work as hard as possible."