Davidson Day's "Dynamic Duo." That's the name that everyone on campus has bestowed upon junior soccer players Katy Leonard and Brianna Wills. These girls, who played on the same club team for more than five years, are finally joining forces on the high school field.
Leonard and Wills, great friends and teammates since before they hit their teens, are experiencing something new together. They are being asked to carry a Davidson Day squad that is only in its second year of fielding a varsity team and lacks any major experience beyond that of their two stars.
"They've played for a long time, and they're very different style players," said head coach Chad Metzler, who also coaches the pair's club team. "I think in this situation where we have a new team that's inexperienced, the two of them together will help take on the leadership and mentoring role together."
Leonard has long been a big-time defender for Metzler at the club level, where Wills has always excelled at putting the ball in the back of the net. As the two most talented players on the team, Metzler says it wouldn't make sense to waste Leonard's skills playing defense.
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She plays midfield for the Patriots and is going to be one of the key ingredients to helping the team score points. She will also be charged with trying to get the ball to the explosive Wills. In a 7-2 win over Queens Grant on March 10, Wills scored six goals on a sprained ankle and Metzler scored the seventh.
"It's so weird playing with her now," Leonard said. "I somehow always find her. People think it's like that because we've been together in club, but it's not. In club, we have other people who are at the same skill level as us so we feed off of them. Here we really work off of each other."
Wills transferred to Davidson Day in November to play soccer for Metzler and alongside one of her best friends.
"My old school didn't have a soccer team, and I want to play in college, so coming here benefited me both academically and athletically," Wills said.
Wills is a scoring machine, netting 10 goals in her first three appearances for the Patriots. Her coach believes she will average at least two goals a game this season.
"I've seen her do that at the highest level," Metzler said. "She's a very explosive striker, the kind that can create goals out of nothing."
When talking to the girls, it's easy to forget how young they are considering all they have done together. They even took a trip to Europe with their club team; something they say was a life-changing experience.
"It was really cool to be playing against the other teams while they were talking in other languages, and we had no idea what they were saying," Wills said.
The duo got to participate in the Dana Cup, the third largest youth soccer tournament in the world. They were one of only three U.S. teams to participate.
"It was the best experience I've ever had," said Leonard.
Now this "Dynamic Duo" is being asked to shoulder the load. Everyone around them believes they can handle the responsibility of teaching the team to win.
"It's honestly so hard because I go from club soccer where I can trust the players with everything to trying to be responsible for so much more here," Leonard said.
"We have to be leaders on this team and help the other girls out because we really are the only ones on this team with a lot of experience," said Wills.
With two full seasons ahead of them, Leonard, Wills and Metzler are excited to see what they can make of the Davidson Day soccer program. With the familiarity they share, the two girls will try to make something special out of a situation neither has experienced before.