For Homewood-Flossmoor keeper Kim Boehm, the work she has put in at the goalkeeping position is making all the difference.
Boehm, a junior, was thrown into the goal as a freshman and forced to learn the position on the fly. In 2010, the Vikings were a strong squad and a state favorite, and Boehm felt the pressure of being a freshman on a strong team.
"Fortunately and unfortunately Kim had to be the varsity goalie as a freshman," Viking head coach Charlie Ward said. "She got thrown into the fire on a good soccer team. Last year we went to the supersectional and she was a sophomore, so she's been thrown in some big moments. She's had adversity and she's had moments where she doubted herself and she came into this season ready to be a varsity keeper."
Boehm and Ward attribute Boehm's success to her intense work ethic. Boehm plays year-round soccer in an indoor league, and the extra work has helped her entering the 2012 season.
"Playing all winter helped alot," Boehm said. "It kept me in shape and doing goalie stuff. And coming out the first day and having Phil Huang train with me has helped greatly."
The Viking's standout boys soccer keeper, Phil Huang, has been helping Boehm learn the position and has also seen the work pay off for Boehm.
"For her to have it pay off here it's amazing to watch what I've helped out with," Huang said.
Boehm came up with two huge saves midway through the second half in the Viking's 1-0 sectional semifinal win against Andrew. Boehm's seven saves against Sandburg in the sectional final helped the Vikings maintain the momentum throughout the match.
The Vikings will face Downers Grove South today at 7 p.m. at the 3A Benedictine University Supersectional. And Boehm and the Viking defense will again have their hands full. Homewood-Flossmoor has been holding some potent offenses in check throughout the tournament, and Boehm knows the defense and the entire team will have to be at top form if the Vikings hopes to make it to state.
"All of us have really grown this season," Boehm said. "We just need to play the way we've been playing. If everyone comes out hard and everyone's ready and not thinking about state and just thinking one game at a time, we should be fine."