Friday, April 29, 2011

Journal Sentinel Profiles Girls Soccer's Nikki Condit

from JSOnline.Com --



Photo: Benny Sieu -- The Crusaders’ Nikki Condit says playing in three state championship games has helped her team handle high expectations.


Catholic Memorial's Condit hones leadership


by Mark Feldmann


With excellence established, Nikki Condit wants to leave a legacy of leadership with the Catholic Memorial girls soccer team.

Condit, a senior, showed her skills last season, when she scored 34 goals, had 14 assists and set a team record with six goals in a match. She was all-Classic 8 Conference, all-state first team, and all-region. She signed a letter of intent to play with Division I DePaul.

This year Condit is a captain of the Crusaders, the defending WIAA Division 2 state champions. It's a job she has prepared for during the last three seasons.
"I always watched how the seniors and the captains have taken their time to teach the younger girls and set the example," Condit said. "I really learned a lot from that. I have tried to mesh their styles and make it my own."

Said Catholic Memorial coach John Burke: "Her leadership qualities are exceptional, and she demonstrates unconditional loyalty and devotion to her teammates." She showed that in the first match of the season. The Crusaders were down, 1-0, to Hartford, but Condit scored the equalizer and Memorial went on to win, 2-1.

She also scored a goal and had an assist against Natomas of Sacramento, Calif., in the final match of four the team played on the West Coast during spring break. Among the matches was a game against Davis Senior, ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Crusaders battled but lost, 2-0.

"It was kind of a different feeling going into the Davis game because they really didn't know how we played or who we counted on," Condit said. "We also had a nothing-to-lose feeling. I thought we played really well against them, especially so early in the season for us. That will only help us the rest of the season."

Condit has six goals and three assists for the Crusaders (7-2-1) heading into the 16th-annual Laura Moynihan Catholic Memorial tournament this weekend. All three defending state champions - Verona, Catholic Memorial and New Holstein - will participate.

First-round matches will start at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Uihlein Soccer Park. Second-round matches, and seventh-, fifth- and third-place matches, will be at Uihlein on Saturday. The championship match will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the newly christened Laura Moynihan Field at UW-Milwaukee's Engelmann Stadium.

The Crusaders have won the tournament 10 times, including last season with a 1-0 win over Brookfield East. Memorial expects always to be competitive in the annual event and in the postseason.

Condit has been to three straight Division 2 championship matches. After losing in 2008 and 2009, both by 1-0 scores, the Crusaders beat Grafton, 1-0, for the title last season.

"The expectations have always been there, but every year they are there. We have been able to handle it better and better," she said. "We concentrate on making each other better. If we start thinking about anything else, it could become pretty stressful."


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