Abi Argueta had a chance last year to watch the game she loves from a different perspective.
It’s not like the Northeast High star wanted to. But a torn ACL forced her to the sidelines while her teammates struggled on without her.
Yet the time spent watching was beneficial for the time she would spend on the field as Argueta returned this past fall to put up the kinds of numbers District 10 was used to seeing from her. The league’s MVP as a freshman returned to that form, capturing the district MVP this season and helping to guide the Lady Eagles to an 11-6-2 record and 5-2-1 in district.
She scored 28 goals and finished with 12 assists this season and she can now add the honor of being The Leaf-Chronicle All Area Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year. The award is voted on by the newspaper sports staff while the All Area soccer team is selected by the area athletics directors.
“Getting her back this year was huge,” Northeast girls coach Richard Frost said. “She makes our team better, plain and simple. Without her we’re not a district threat. She controls our midfield, makes other players better and she gave us a chance in our district.”
In a league that boasts Clarksville High, Rossview and Henry County, getting a leg up is a difficult task. The Lady Eagles played Rossview to a 1-1 tie during the regular season and lost to Henry County by a single goal. Clarksville High was the only team to run away with its two victories by a combined 12-0 score.
Frost primarily used Argueta at midfield but occasionally put her at forward and in the back, defensively.
“I was fine with wherever coach put me,” Argueta said. “It was just about the team. Wherever I could contribute I was willing to do that.”
As a freshman, Frost even tried her at goalie and Arugeta pitched a shutout. But the Lady Eagles coach knew that his team would be better set with her controlling the tempo of the game at mid.
“We had much better chemistry this year,” Argueta said. “We worked a lot more on technical stuff and the players were focused this year. I just wish we could have made a deeper run in the tournament.”
Instead, Northeast was knocked out by Clarksville, 5-0 in the district tournament. But Argueta — who’s sister Andi played at Northeast and now stars at UT-Chattanooga and her brother Phillipe, who plays on the boys’ team — returns for her senior season next fall with the chance to make that run.
“I’ve been playing since I was a kid so I’ve always tried to think of the game in a different way,” said Argueta, who has already verbally committed to play soccer at Samford. “I try to look at the field before the ball gets to me and make the best decisions.”