Goalie Moore helps Adapted Soccer team kick their way to victory

Screeching sneakers and the steady thump of the soccer ball against the wall echos as parents and friends slowly make their way to the gym’s bleachers before the game. The adapted soccer team playfully jokes around as Rebecca easily slides from her wheelchair to the gym floor.

During her warm up her teammates’ attempted shots are easily saved as she quickly maneuvers to grab them. She is Souths Adapted Soccer team’s first legless and seven fingered goalie, Rebecca Moore. And she couldn’t be doing better!

“I just started this year, my friends kept begging me to so I decided to try it.” Junior goalie Moore explained. Moore had never played soccer before, let alone goalie, but made the decision to give it a shot this fall.

In gym class one day Moore looked at the four foot goals used in adapted soccer and came to a realization, “I went in as goalie and realized I could stop balls better because I’m shorter without my wheelchair or [artificial] legs on.” Ever since then Moore has been a force to reckon with on the field.

Her teammates were quick to notice. “Rebecca’s really fast as goalie; the fastest we’ve had in years!” Senior and fellow teammate Tyler Spratt said.

Her coach Jackie Pennaz has also been very pleased with Moore’s performance so far. “This year has been very positive,  and she just continues to exceed our expectations!” Pennaz stated.

During the South Suburban game, the first one of the most memorable games of the season, Pennaz said “Rebecca had 60 shots taken at her and she saved 50 of them.” This 83% save ratio rivals some of the best current Major League Soccer goalies.

As Moore is only a junior, her coach Jackie Pennaz is very excited about the 2014 season. “Things can only go up. She’s added so much enthusiasm, persistence, and comradery. That will only continue.” Her team’s high expectations for Moore have put a lot of pressure on her to be in top form starting next season.

“She’ll need to stay motivated and make sure her conditioning is kept up.” Pennaz said of her offseason expectations of Moore.

Moore has considered playing on year round adapted soccer clubs in order to maintain her skill. “I was maybe thinking about it but the money, information, and transportation are all factors. My coach mostly tells us to just have fun anyways!”  said Moore

For Moore, soccer became a game about more than just percentages and winning, “I’ve made more friends and it’s a great way to relieve stress.” She explained.

Soon Moore will have what many consider a very stressful experience. Moore will be a student speaker at Souths’ Silver Ribbon Campaign. She will talk about her experience with depression and a disability.

“When I throw the soccer ball it helps me let everything out and get through my depression,” Moore explained about soccer and her mental illness. “I can just let it out. It’s nice.”

For Moore soccer has become an emotional outlet and a big part of her life. After Moore graduates playing will definitely still be on the agenda. “I’ll continue for sure after high school. Playing keeps me busy!” But for now South is more than happy to have her.