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Soccer taps Scheid's versatility

Claire C. Laurence/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sophomore defender Nicole Scheid (18) has been a spark of fire off of the bench for the No. 24 Wildcats. "She's got great soccer sense and she's fit," said head coach Dan Tobias. "She can go for days. It's just awesome to have a player that versatile."
By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 29, 2005
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If sports were like the movies, sophomore midfielder-defender Nicole Scheid would be the Arizona soccer team's supporting actress.

She's understated: She isn't going to be on the team poster or have her name plastered about everywhere, but the show wouldn't be what it is without her.

She makes a good team performance that much better. She'll do what needs to be done, even if that means not doing what she wants at times.

Whether Arizona head coach Dan Tobias needs her in the midfield assisting goals, scoring goals or playing in the back to stop opposing offenses, Scheid will do it all. She may not always grab the headlines, but wherever she plays, she gets the job done.

"She's very consistent," Tobias said. "She's got great soccer sense and she's fit - she can go for days. It's just awesome to have a player that versatile."

Scheid came to Tucson from Mission Viejo, Calif., and started immediately for the Wildcats, usually at the left midfielder position. In her first collegiate game last season, Scheid got the assist on the only goal of the game against Iowa State.

About midway through her freshman season, Scheid moved in to shore up an already steady unit.

By the end of 2004, Scheid was a part of the best defense in school history, which gave up only 11 goals in 21 games. The previous record was 31 goals allowed, set in 1997.

Scheid said she doesn't mind playing defense but that she prefers to play offense if there is an opportunity to do so.

Nicole Scheid
No. 18 - Sophomore midfielder-defender
5-foot-7 - Mission Viejo, Calif.
2005 stats (through 9 games)
2 goals, 1 assist

"I love attacking," Scheid said. "The one thing I miss (when playing defense) is not being able to go up."

Until Sunday, she started the first eight games of the season in the left-central fullback position.

Tobias started her in the left-central midfield position against UC-Santa Barbara, allowing senior Mallory Miller to play forward, with the hope that combination could put a little firepower into an offense that had scored only two goals in its last three games.

The result: Scheid notched an assist on the first goal of the evening and scored the third goal of Arizona's four-goal night against the Gauchos. It was the second goal of Scheid's collegiate career and the first scored at home this season that didn't come off Miller's foot.

"The more she touches the ball, the better it is for our offense," Tobias said of Scheid.

"I like center (midfield) because I feel like I get the ball more and help our offense," Scheid said.

With the continued strong play of freshman defender Savanah Levake - Scheid's replacement in the defense - the sophomore will likely spend more time in the midfield.

Tobias said Scheid's status could change from game to game. If Tobias needs to move her back to defense, he'll do it, and no one will hear her complain.

If Scheid ends up on defense for an extended amount of time again this season, she'll always remember being in the midfield Sunday and that goal she scored.

"It felt great," she said with a smile.

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