Girls Soccer Player of the Year: Crown Point’s Sarah Rivich
By Tom Wyatt Post-Tribune correspondent December 13, 2012 11:10PM
Senior midfielder Sarah Rivich, photographed in Crown Point, Ind. Friday November 30, 2012, is the Post-Tribune Girls Soccer Player of the Year. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:36AM
Sarah Rivich doesn’t necessarily consider herself a complete soccer player. She’s just a soccer player.
The fact that Rivich played nearly every position on the soccer field except goalkeeper during her career at Crown Point does not seem all that unusual to her. To hear her talk, one might think it was to be expected.
“In soccer, you’re going to play every position,” Rivich said. “You’re going to play defense, and you’re going to move up to forward and attack. If you’re going to play soccer, you have to have all the abilities. We had girls last year who were forwards who stepped up and played defense this year for us.”
Rivich, a senior center midfielder/forward, is the 2012 Post-Tribune Girls Soccer Player of the Year after helping lead the Bulldogs to the semistate final, one game from playing for the Class 2A state title.
“Since she came in as a freshman, she was instantly a kid that people were watching,” Crown Point coach Chris Mikrut said. “Every year, she got better. The thing I loved about Sarah was if I needed her to play defense, she’d play defense; if I needed her to play center forward, she’d play center forward. She never complained. She just loved playing soccer.
“Whenever the team needed her, she was willing to do that. She started out as a sweeper. She went to forward. And finally her junior and senior years, she played mostly center mid for us. Sarah just wanted to win and do whatever it took for the team to win.”
Rivich also plays basketball at Crown Point, but soccer was the sport where she excelled. She began playing at a young age, with the support of her parents, including her mom, Marilu Rivich, who was her coach at times growing up.
“It was probably the sport I was best at, because I just sort of naturally knew what to do on the field,” Rivich said. “My parents always told me to do what I wanted to do. And whatever I did, they always encouraged me and stayed positive with me and tried to give me pointers.”
Because of the success Rivich had throughout her career, Mikrut figures there are several area coaches who will be glad — in a good sportsmanship manner — that Rivich is graduating.
“Even at the end of the year when she’s hurt and we’re going into the regional championship against Valparaiso with her not playing until the last nine minutes, they were nervous when she came into the game,” Mikrut said. “She wasn’t even at 100 percent, but that’s the kind of respect other coaches had for her.”
As for her next stop after high school, Rivich isn’t sure if she’ll play in college. The sport might become recreational for her from here on out.
“I just want to go to college,” Rivich said. “I’m kind of in between about playing. I would love to go to school out in Colorado; I love it out there.”