CEDAR LAKE | To have a forward capable of scoring 30 goals in a season is a real luxury.
To have two is almost greedy and that's exactly what Hanover Central has in Kirsten Nirtaut and Blayr Poston.
They're tied for the team lead with 33 goals each heading into Saturday's Class A Regional match against host Argos.
"They really complement each other well," coach Jim Pattison said. "One is all bull, the other is all finesse."
Pattison said his "bull" is Poston, an aggressive, gifted athlete who wins ball on sheer ability. The finesse is Nirtaut, a speedy striker who can use her feet to beat the defense.
"We're a perfect pair up front. I know she'll be there if I need her and vice versa," Nirtaut said. "You always need a backup plan."
The duo has developed a level of trust not seen at the top of most soccer teams.
The junior, Poston, is better known as a basketball player. She plays softball, too, and she took years away from soccer before stepping back on the pitch last season because she had friends on the team.
Conventional wisdom would say the time away, combined with the lack of club soccer in the offseason, would put Poston at a disadvantage. Her coach disagrees.
"Whatever she decides to do, athletically, she succeeds," Pattison said. "(Playing three sports) keeps her from getting burned out and gives her lower body a rest."
Nirtaut, a senior, had a breakout season her sophomore year. After a couple of outstanding years in club, her career highlight came on a game-winning goal in the sectional championship win over Wheeler. She beat several defenders on the play and put an accurate shot into the net.
"It was picture perfect," Pattison said.
That's just what Nirtaut does, though.
"I want to be patient, but when I get the ball I try to score. I try to finish," she said. "Whenever I get the chance, I try to shoot."
That is, unless she doesn't have the shot. Then, she crosses it over to Poston.
That's what Argos will have to deal with tonight. But the Wildcats aren't ready to stop there.
"To be on this team and win a state championship, it would mean the world," Poston said.