Female Athlete of the Week: Moya leading way for Wildcats as sophomore

Lisette Moya

FRONT ROYAL – With a year of varsity experience under her belt, Warren County sophomore Lisette Moya is more comfortable this season and it shows.

Moya already has eight goals for Warren County’s girls soccer team in just four games.

“I know the girls a little better than last year so it’s definitely more connected, and I feel a little more confident this year because I’m not coming in new,” Moya said. “When it comes to teammates, I feel comfortable with all of them, and I trust all of them because I know that wherever they’re put on the field they can do their job. And I don’t have to worry about them not being there when I need them because they all always are there.”

Moya had a hat trick last week in a 6-1 win over Strasburg on Friday.

She said she’s had hat tricks throughout her soccer career, but the most important thing was getting a victory as a team.

“It was exciting. We just wanted to win,” Moya said. “So I just wanted to score and it happened that I scored three that game.”

Moya also had an assist along with her hat trick to help earn her The Northern Virginia Daily’s Female Athlete of the Week for the week of April 4-10.

Due to some injuries and illness, Warren County coach Mike Carpenter said he’s moved Moya, a midfielder, up front more and she’s handled it well.

“She’s really stepped up to help the team the first four games,” Carpenter said. “… First two weeks we needed a goal scorer, and she filled that role. She’s really worked hard in the offseason. Not only on her shooting form and technique, but most importantly I think was fitness level. We focused more on conditioning as a team, and that’s what showed. She can play the full 80 (minutes) at mid field.”

Perhaps Moya’s best game of the season came against Group 2A powerhouse George Mason on April 1 in a 3-3 tie. Moya had two goals in the game, including the game-tying goal on a direct kick with just 27 seconds left in regulation.

“It was kind of close, so I was a little scared that I was going to miss – it was going to go over,” Moya said of her game-tying direct kick. “So when I shot it and I saw that it was going in I just kind of felt this rush of excitement.”

Both of Moya’s goals in the tie with George Mason came on direct kicks, including from approximately 25 yards out on the first score.

Moya said she’s taken a lot of direct kicks playing on travel teams over the years, and that’s helped her to improve and become better at taking them.

“After doing it for so many years, I just kind of learned how to hit the ball and where to put it,” Moya said.

Carpenter said that through that experience she’s learned how to stay calm under pressure, which has also helped her with her direct kicks.

Moya said she’s started playing soccer at an early age, and played with a travel team in Front Royal. Moya said she now plays for a travel team in West Virginia.

She said she’s mostly always played with the same group of players until last year’s varsity team, and it was a good experience for her.

“I learned how to work with other people, because I’d always grown up playing with the same girls,” Moya said. “Maybe one would leave every now and then, one would come in. But last year I had to work with a whole new group of girls, because it’s high school and I just learned how to adjust.”

She said her freshman year was a great experience for her, and she really enjoyed it.

“All the girls really made me feel like part of the team. I adjusted really quickly to them, and it was really nice,” Moya said.

Moya said her big goal for this season for the team is just advance further in the postseason.

The Wildcats have a chance to do that, with a lot of depth and a strong defense that has played a big role in their success.

“I feel like the team this year we can do that if we all just come together,” Moya said of a potential playoff run. “I feel like this year we’re a lot more solid, and it doesn’t matter where you are on the field. I feel like we’re just a good team all around, because our offense has scored goals to tie and win games and our defense has saved our butts so many times.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com