Photo by Paul Flessland
Lauren Miller isn’t a player who prefers the limelight. She actually tries to avoid it. But her game attracts the attention of every spectator in the north bleachers at Dacotah Field.
Bison Illustrated: How do you feel the season has gone so far?
Lauren Miller: “It’s been going well. We started with some harder games, but I think that will only help us in the Summit League coming up in a few weeks. But it’s great to get some momentum with these last few wins and hopefully get a couple more wins before heading into Summit League play.”
BI: How has this team adjusted to the loss of your co-striker, Anisha Kinnarath?
LM: “I think the freshmen around me and the returning players have really stepped up their game. I mean, those assists and other passes are coming from a lot of other people that have really stepped up, especially our freshman, Brittany Monteon. She’s making a big impact along with Roxy (Roemer). So people are just stepping up and adjusting to their new roles.”
BI: Has losing Kinnarath changed the way you play?
LM: “I think it’s my time to step up and be a leader now that I’m an upperclassman. I do feel the weight of scoring goals for our team, and I’ve just accepted that and I want to make it happen for the team.”
BI: What’s your go-to move?
LM: “Sometimes I do a stop-and-go just to get that little bit of space to get a shot, but normally I just rely on shooting from distance when I can get a shot off. Bodying up sometimes. I mean, I can be physical just trying to get shots on goal at the end of the day.”
BI: How does being physical help you?
LM: “If you’re going up against someone that’s five feet 10 inches and 180 pounds, you have to be able to push them off and play the ball and make plays for your teammates around you. Everyone, Amy (Yang), she makes it work, she uses her skill but being physical really helps us, especially on defense, too.”
BI: Are you a physical player?
LM: “I think I am. I can always use it to my advantage.”
BI: How do you approach Summit League games differently than if you were playing Wisconsin or Cal-Poly?
LM: “Summit League, it’s basically do or die. We need to finish our chances. We just have to win those games. There are no excuses for missing wide open chances anymore. We just have to execute with confidence. Nonconference, you get to test people and play some other formation, but when comes to Summit League play, you’re trying to make it to the NCAA Tournament.”
BI: What makes a great goalkeeper great?
LM: “It’s probably those upper-90 and lower shots that you really have to hit hard or be close enough that they’re not going to save those, otherwise, normal goalies, if you put the ball five, 10 feet away you’re going to be fine. But if they’re saving upper-90 shots, it’s going to be hard to score on the.”
BI: Is Sierra Bonham a great goalie?
LM: “Yes, she’s a great goalie. She’s a great captain as well. She’s really worked on being more vocal over the past few years, but she really brings the team together. Her and Meghan (Johnston) both do a great job motivating us and keeping us pumped throughout the season.”
BI: What’s the ceiling for this team?
LM: “Win the Summit League and get in to the NCAA Tournament. I think we have really high goals this year. Our coaches feel really confident in the players that we have and we just want to get to that next step and make it to the NCAA Tournament.”