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Girls Athlete of the Week: Johnson's Brittany Martin

POSTED: March 5, 2013 10:33 p.m.

Johnson senior Brittany Martin has a pretty unique quality that makes her a major threat to every opponent the Lady Knights face this season—she’s left footed.

Having played soccer since the age of 5, Martin has always shot with her left foot, but few other players do the same.

“She’s left-footed and she’s got a lot of speed,” said Lady Knights coach Phil Higgins. “She brings a lot of energy to the team.”

Martin has played on the Lady Knights’ varsity team since her freshman year, the first year Higgins was a coach, and played an assortment of positions over her four years with the team. Now, she’s Johnson’s striker and has found a special chemistry with teammate Chandler Steele.

“We put them together one day at practice and they just started finding each other,” Higgins said.

Martin can’t explain it, but she and Steele are able to connect with little communication on the field to lead the Lady Knights’ offense.

“She’s right-footed and I’m left-footed,” Martin said. “We just connect somehow.”

Johnson may have gotten off to a rough start, but they certainly began to execute as they picked up their first win of the season with a 4-0 victory against Eastside last Thursday.

In the win, Martin tallied three goals to propel the Lady Knights.

For her efforts, Martin is The Times Girls Athlete of the Week.

“She’s our team captain by almost a unanimous decision,” Higgins said. “She works hard in practice and leads by example. She and a lot of the girls kept working on the things that we were having problems with, trying to get them to work out for us.”

“We’ve been working on a lot of offense and making transitions from defense,” Martin added. “We did start out pretty rough, but that night it clicked, and I couldn’t have done it without the midfield.”

Martin gives credit to all of her teammates for helping change Johnson’s momentum, but her scoring touch is a talent that will help carry the Lady Knights this season.

“I think that everyone on the team has a major part from goalie all the way up to forward,” Martin said. “For me, whenever I score I always go straight to the person who gave me the ball because I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Her shooting ability is something Higgins said has truly developed between last season and this year, somewhat due to Martin’s dedication and work ethic.

“The shot placement has really come on strong this year,” Higgins said. “All through the summer, the offseason and in indoor, that’s what she focused on, she’s one of those kids who, if she knows she has something she needs to work on she’s going to do it.

“She’s a good shot placer. She’s a smart shooter. She doesn’t try to just power the ball; she can usually get a sense of where the keeper is and place it away from them. Her first touch is really good, but she really finishes well.”

Martin said that playing other positions has helped her become a better striker because she can make the runs and crosses to get field position that some other people may not be able to do. Higgins emphasized Martin’s speed, and once she takes off to the wing or up the middle, she has the speed and strength to put the ball behind the goalkeeper.

“I always just aim for the corners and shoot really low because low hard balls are really hard for the keepers because they can’t get down on the ground fast,” Martin said. “And I’m left-footed, so that kind of throws them and the defense off.”

Yet another of Martin’s best qualities is her attitude, Higgins said.

“She keeps the same demeanor throughout the game,” he said. “She is not going to let her mental attitude interfere with her game, ever.”

The only mentality that has changed the Lady Knights’ game is confidence. Since their first win, Higgins and Martin agreed that the team has been playing better together and has more chemistry.

“Anytime you win, you feel great,” Martin said. “So it really did help boost our confidence. Ever since then, we’ve been playing like a team.”

“Hopefully, we turn a corner,” Higgins said. “We just needed that confidence win, and now we can get back to the way we’ve been playing these past few seasons.”


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