Thornton Fractional freshman Nicole Vega may still be getting used to her teammates, but that's not stopping her United from winning their way through the learning curve.
With her offensive output so far this season, it's a little scary what Vega and the team may be capable of once the freshman really settles in.
"Early on we really weren't communicating because we didn't know each other," Vega said. "I kind of have to thank the coaches for that because they taught us how to talk. They're the ones that changed us and had us keeping each other in the game."
With 43 goals, Vega has meant a lot of instant offense for the United, and Thornton Fractional's 12-2 record is a tribute to the early impact of Vega's play. The United have also racked up a 6-1 record in the South Suburban Conference, and are cementing their place as a strong contender year in and year out in the SSC.
"We're really good," Vega said. "We know the basics, and we're just getting better every practice. I think our success is coming from us only focusing on each game."
Vega posted a seven goal game earlier in the season against South Suburban Blue opponent Oak Lawn, and she also posted a five goal game against Bremen just two days later on April 4th. Her 12 goals in four games at the Reavis tournament also helped add to some early goal totals that are amazing for any high school player, especially a freshman.
"She's our number one goal scorer obviously and she's a huge offensive threat," United coach Alejandro Lagunas said. "When you have a kid who can score, you always know you have a chance to win and compete against any team."
At times when she isn't scoring, Vega can become upset at her own play, but Lagunas has continued to reinforce the need for the team-first concept that is winning the United plenty of games.
"She's put a lot of responsibility on herself to be that player, the one that always has to score," Lagunas said. "We have a lot of talks with her after the games when she's upset. We reiterate to her, we got the game, you had opportunities but were off today. That's why we do what we do in practice."
Along with being a force on the pitch, Vega is the number six student in the freshman class at T.F. North. Vega said she takes the same approach in the classroom as she does on the soccer field.
"I'm competitive with myself, and I challenge myself to do more," Vega said. "You have to manage your time and think about what you're going to do after soccer."