TUPELO – Perhaps her excellence on the soccer field comes from her Swiss roots.
Wherever she gets her skills, Pontotoc High School’s Anastasia Vogel is a force to reckon with on the soccer field.
The 2009 Daily Journal Girls Player of the Year scored 25 goals and had a team-high eight assists for a Pontotoc team that went 16-5 this season and advanced to the state quarterfinals before losing to eventual state runner-up Pearl.
“A lot of our success the last few years is because of Anastasia,” said Pontotoc head coach Marty Pettit. “She played on the varsity since the seventh grade.”
Those numbers are nice for the senior midfielder, but what shouldn’t be overlooked is her team-first attitude. Case in point: The Pontotoc senior played a couple of games in goal at the beginning of the season.
Her coach needed a goalkeeper and who better to fill that void than the 5-foot-5 Vogel.
“I didn’t mind playing any position because I knew it was going to be for the better of the team,” said Vogel, who signed with Meridian Community College. “Anything that I could do to help the team I was willing to do it.”
Had Vogel played keeper full time, Pettit said, she would have been one of the better goalkeepers in the state.
“You took a kid who was used to touching the ball all the time and moved her to goalie,” Pettit said. “And she never complained.
“That shows senior leadership. That is also critical to her success. We never had drama. She did everything we asked her to do.”
Vogel’s parents were born in Switzerland as was her older brother, Kriton. Anastacia and her other older brother, Caryl Vogel, were born in the states. Caryl plays soccer for Itawamba Community College.
Kriton “moved here probably when he was 2 or 3, so he’s lived here pretty much his whole life,” said Anastasia, who was born in New Albany. “He doesn’t have an accent like my mom and dad.”
Kriton, however, does have solid goalkeeper skills and is currently a goalkeeper for Belhaven College.
As for a specific skill that Anastacia exhibits, she can fire a shot on goal from 30 to 35 yards out.
“She scored from 30 yards out this year and she can do it on a regular basis,” Pettit said. “She would usually draw double teams in the middle of the field.
“You had to respect her ability to shoot the ball from 30 to 35 yards out. In women’s soccer you don’t see them (players) willing to do that.
“I wanted her to take the shots out there.”
Vogel get as chance to showcase her skills in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Soccer Game on June 13 at Hinds Community College.
John Wilbert/Daily Journal