Playing goalkeeper for the soccer team can be a mixed blessing. When you make a heroic save to win the game, you’re Superman and the Bionic Woman – all rolled into one. But, if the ball gets by you, it’s a lonely walk to the back of the net to retrieve the ball.

Senior Carmen Burroughs says it took her a long time to learn to manage the stress. “It’s all about keeping the ball out of the box, and I put a lot of pressure on myself. I know my team is trusting me back there, so I practice hard. But if I do make a mistake, I have to get over it and finish strong. I used to spend time second guessing myself, but at a soccer camp at SMU I learned to allow myself to think about it for 10 seconds. Then, I get it out of my system and move on.”

Carmen will attend Texas A&M in the fall, where she’ll study to be a veterinarian. She’s been shadowing LH’s Dr. Allison Merrill of Abrams Forest Veterinary Clinic, observing her care of animals and even watching surgeries.

Carmen is also a section leader in A Cappella choir at LHHS and a member of National Honor Society and Girls’ Service League, but “in the spring it’s all soccer – it takes a lot of time and focus and I love it.”

She says she’s enjoying being a senior on the team, especially since younger sister, Kelly, and her friends play. “I remember looking up to the seniors when I was younger. I feel I need to represent the team well and keep the program strong. Coach Benson says I need to be the quarterback of the team – I need to talk more and direct my teammates.”

And when she does make the big save? “It feels incredible. I’m proud of myself. It feels good to know that my hard work paid off.”