By Tommy Keeler Jr.
FRONT ROYAL -- With only three returning players from last year's girls soccer team, Skyline senior Quinn Breeden understands the importance of being a good leader for her teammates.
Early in the season, Breeden has exhibited that leadership with her actions on and off the field.
"Quinn and Jenny Norman are our captains," Skyline coach Kristy Beaune said. "We knew we were going to be looking for that from them from the beginning. Quinn does a great job with the younger kids. She does a great job of helping the other players, teaching them things about soccer and helping them get better. She's more about helping us get better as a team rather than being in it for her own glory."
Breeden said being a leader is what she feels like she's improved on the most in the last year.
"Some girls take criticism differently," Breeden said. "Girls are really sensitive. I just try to be a good role model for the younger girls."
Breeden also showed how to lead with her play on the field last week as she had a hat trick, the first of her career, and an assist in an 8-0 Skyline win over Page County on Friday. Her solid play against the Panthers helped earn her The Northern Virginia Daily's Female Athlete of the Week for the week of March 17-23.
Breeden has already showed off her versatility this season as she has played at almost every position for the Hawks.
Beaune said she will use Breeden at different positions throughout the season, depending on who the Hawks are playing and what the score is.
In the victory over the Panthers, she scored three goals in the first 20 minutes of the game playing at the forward position. She then moved to defense, where she has played for the majority of the season so far. Towards the end of the game she moved back up to forward and got an assist, which helped end the game by mercy rule with 13:56 left.
Breeden played mostly at midfield last season and said she enjoys being able to play so many positions.
"I'm comfortable everywhere," Breeden said. "It's good to be versatile."
Breeden said she began taking soccer seriously when she was in fifth grade, and she played for a Loudoun County travel team. Breeden also plays basketball, but said soccer is her favorite sport.
"I've just always liked it, because it's just fun, it's fast paced," Breeden said. "It's not like you have timeouts. You can go with the flow, and it's just a fun, physical sport. It's just nice. I've just always had a passion for it."
Beaune said Breeden always fights for every ball, and it's really good for the younger players to see that.
She said Breeden is a natural at soccer.
"She's fast," Beaune said. "She's very determined to fight for every ball. She has very good footwork. She gets along well with her teammates."
The Hawks are off to a 1-2 start to the season, including losses to Loudoun County schools John Champe and Loudoun Valley.
Skyline lost 6-0 to Loudoun Valley on Monday, but Beaune said she was encouraged by how the team played in the second half, allowing only two goals.
Breeden said she just wants to make the most out of her senior season.
"It's going to be bittersweet," Breeden said of her senior season. "I just want to make it fun for everybody and myself. I just want to have fun this year and make it a good year. And it's my last year, so I want to go out with everything I have."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd