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Where are they now?: Heinisch competes with national team - Liberty Tribune
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 22:13
futsalwireLiberty TribuneAfter completing her junior year at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., Heinisch made the decision to try out for the USA Women's National Futsal Team, ...

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by Chris Geinosky Where are they now?: Heinisch competes with national team Sports - Community Sports Written by Chris Geinosky ?? Thursday, 09 September 2010 00:00 Lauren Heinisch could hardly contain herself when she stepped on an airplane for the first time in her life.

Imagine her reaction when she found out she was going to play for Team USA.

Needless to say, it turned out to be some kind of summer for Heinisch.

After completing her junior year at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., Heinisch made the decision to try out for the USA Womens National Futsal Team, a decision that paid off in a big way.

Heinisch, a 2007 Liberty High School graduate, wound up landing on a national team roster that included less than a dozen of the finest players around.

"Im definitely very lucky," Heinisch said.

"(Benedictine womens soccer coach) Lincoln Roblee helped me so much.

Hes the one that helped me train.

A lot of it has to do with him." A lot of it has to do with Heinisch as well.

While at Benedictine the past few years, Heinisch has become the two-time defending Golden Sneaker Award winner, given to the top scorer of Ravens winter indoor season.

"Futsal is something we do every winter," Roblee said.

"Its become an integral part of our training regimen for our outdoor program, and Heinisch has been our best player the last couple years.

When I found out about this national futsal team, I told her she had to give it a shot." And so Heinisch jumped on a plane for the first time back in May for a tryout in Boston, and within a few days, she had been informed of her selection to the team.

She had to make a return trip to Boston for a few weeks of training in June, and then in July it was off to the 25th annual U.S.

Futsal National Championship in Long Beach, Calif.

"It was real exciting representing the U.S.

and playing for Team USA, but anyone can do it if they work hard enough," Heinisch said modestly.

"Its nice to know that my hard work paid off." Futsal is an indoor version of soccer played with only five players per team and on a playing surface roughly the size of a basketball court.

The game is not played with walls and requires players to use their skill rather than the balls bounce to advance it.

Players have the opportunity to develop their overall fundamentals of soccer, including touch, technique and precision passing, while playing futsal because of the games fast pace.

The origin of the game traces back to Brazil, and ironically enough, Heinisch had the chance to play Team Brazil and Sissi one of that countrys all-time greatest womens players during the national tournament this past summer.

"Thats why Heinisch is such a great futsal player," Roblee said.

"Her mix of skill, athleticism and knowledge of the game make her a perfect fit.

" I gave her the nickname The Chameleon because I can put her anywhere on the field, and she makes the transition so well because of her wide array of skills.

Shes a brave player and has very good foot skills and great instincts.

Shes a complete player." After a memorable summer, Heinisch has brought those skills back to Benedictine where she has been named a senior captain.

A two-time, all-conference player and four-year starter for the Ravens, Heinisch hopes to take her team back to the national tournament in her final collegiate season.

However, this may not be the end of her soccer playing days.

By sticking her foot in the door this summer, Heinisch could keep her spot with the USA National Team in the future.

"Soccer is real important to me," Heinisch said.

"Its something Im going to miss in college after this season, but I cant say Im definitely going to be done."