Giebeig wins LCR's CHS Girls Soccer Player of the Year
For Kyrsten Giebeig, 2016 was full of its ups and downs.
From a concussion midway through the season to a torn meniscus at the end, Giebeig battled through a lot as Columbia’s team captain and leader.
As a junior this year, she led the Tigers to the District 2-4A semifinals while leading the team in goals and assists. She’s improved every year under head coach Lindsay Beach, who describes her as extremely coachable.
Giebeig’s outstanding play, leadership and dedication to the game are why she’s the Lake City Reporter’s Columbia Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
As the ultimate playmaker, Giebeig scored 15 goals and assisted seven more in a season that just fell short of a playoff berth, a 4-0 district semifinals loss to Leon.
Giebeig was injured near the end of that night. At first, it was thought to be a calf strain.
A month later, she was told she had torn her meniscus.
“That’s been tough because I haven’t been able to play soccer, but I feel like it’s made me stronger mentally,” said Giebeig, who had surgery in February to repair her meniscus.
Giebeig was mentally strong throughout the season, especially after suffering a concussion against Maclay in early December. She was only sidelined for a game, but it was the hardest part of the season for the junior.
“My team never let down, they always kept pushing. Some of the players said they were playing for me, so that really drove my motivation to come out and play stronger and be myself again for the team,” Giebeig said.
Beach was never surprised to see Giebeig out there, even she wasn’t 100 percent healthy.
“Dedicated is definitely the word that most describes her,” Beach said. “She’s one that whether she’s injured and not able to practice or play, she’s there. As a soccer player, she’s a hard worker, determined … there’s so many words that (describe) her.”
Beach said Giebeig’s confidence is the reason why she’s the most integral part of Columbia’s roster, no matter where she plays on the field.
“As a player I’ve seen her grow since ninth grade to be a lot more confident in her ability,” Beach said. “Obviously as a freshman she was skilled and she had a natural raw talent, but as these past years have progressed, she’s been playing more. She definitely knows her way on the field. I could trust her to play a defensive spot, and since she knows the game so well, she would know how to play that role. She’s willing to play any position on the field if I say, ‘Hey, I need you to do this for the team,’ and that just comes from her dedication.”
Giebeig, who also plays travel ball in Gainesville and Palm Coast, will be counted on to be even more of a leader next year as Columbia loses seven seniors.
That shouldn’t be a problem, though.
There’s no doubt in Beach’s mind.
“We’ll have a very young team next year, but I’m confident,” Beach said. “She’ll definitely have to take that lead role in helping the younger girls grow that confidence that they need for our team to be successful.”
After next year, Giebeig hopes to play soccer in college. She’s already very interested in Florida Southern, where she’ll be attending a camp this summer.
If all goes well, she’s hoping for a scholarship offer.
“I’m looking forward to their summer camp and possibly playing with some of their college players that are currently rostered on that team,” Giebeig said. “I’ve been there before, but I could get offered possibly so this is a really big deal for me this summer.”
If her hard work and dedication are any indication, it could be Florida Southern offering the big deal.