GIRLS SOCCER

Senior defender is heart of Illiana Christian soccer defense

2012-05-14T20:00:00Z 2012-09-22T20:52:12Z Senior defender is heart of Illiana Christian soccer defenseBy Dwight Haislet Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 14, 2012 8:00 pm  • 

Caroline Toren has seen the Illiana Christian girls soccer team come full circle.

As a freshman, Toren was a varsity starter when the Vikings started the season 0-7. As a senior in 2012, Toren was there as the Vikings opened to a 7-0 start.

Toren has been there through the good and the bad, and is a part of the reason why the Vikings are a top area team in girls soccer and not a team searching for that first win.

"It's kind cool to have the full circle," Toren said. "All of our hard work paid off. Coach (AJ) Turkstra really built up the program. He has really pushed us to work really hard."

The Vikings will open up regional play today against Rich East at the Rich East Regional. Illiana Christian is in a strong position to move on to the Lincoln-Way North Sectional where the competition starts to be tougher.

Toren is the sweeper in the middle of a strong Illiana Christian defense. A four-year starter, she is the centerpiece in the back for Illiana Christian and will be a key to the success of the team throughout the tournament.

"We ended the season strong," Toren said. "Hopefully that will carry over to the postseason. As the postseason goes on, the teams are harder and harder to defend so we just have to watch out for the middle of the field and I need to trust my defense and make sure everyone's covered."

Toren is also a standout volleyball player for the Vikings, and she will attend Hope College to play volleyball next season.

"Definitely with how well this season is going I know I'll miss soccer," Toren said. "I'll most definitely do intramurals or whatever they have for us normal people who aren't on the soccer team."

Turkstra has taken the same ride as Toren, watching the Vikings go from a struggling team in his first season as coach to a team to be reckoned with.

"They have bought into the system," Turkstra said. "It's pretty awesome that we experienced it together going from 0-7 to 7-0. There's special kids that come along in your life and she is definitely one of them."

The Vikings have eight seniors this season, along with a mix of talented freshman and sophomores.

"We really have to focus on what we do best," Toren said. "Playing our game and not playing down to some of the team's levels. If another team is dominating the field we just have to focus on what we do and not what the other team is doing."

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