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Soccer - Girls

Fleming's skill, work ethic guides Grosse Ile to another big season PHOTO GALLERY

  • Caroline Fleming (left) led the Grosse Ile team with 28 goals and tied for the team lead with 24 assists. The Devils again won the Huron League and finished 20-1-2 on the season. Photo by Terry Jacoby
  • Caroline Fleming (13) led the Grosse Ile team with 28 goals and tied for the team lead with 24 assists. The Devils again won the Huron League and finished 20-1-2 on the season. Photo by Ricky Lindsay
  • Caroline Fleming (13) led the Grosse Ile team with 28 goals and tied for the team lead with 24 assists. The Devils again won the Huron League and finished 20-1-2 on the season. Photo by Ricky Lindsay
  • Caroline Fleming (13) led the Grosse Ile team with 28 goals and tied for the team lead with 24 assists. The Devils again won the Huron League and finished 20-1-2 on the season. Photo by Ricky Lindsay
  • Caroline Fleming (13) led the Grosse Ile team with 28 goals and tied for the team lead with 24 assists. The Devils again won the Huron League and finished 20-1-2 on the season. Photo by Ricky Lindsay
Caroline Fleming isn’t the biggest soccer player on the pitch. Only a sophomore, she also was one of the youngest players wearing the Grosse Ile scarlet red and gray.

But after just a few minutes, it was difficult not to notice No. 13. Her skill and incredible work ethic quickly jumped off the page.

“In the game of soccer I am considered very undersized, but I know that and constantly work on getting stronger,” said Fleming. “I would say I make up for that with my work ethic. It’s very easy to work hard for something that you love.”

And Fleming, 16, clearly loves soccer.

“Soccer is very much a team sport,” she says. “There is no way you can win by yourself and it helps to build relationships with teammates. It has created friendships that I will have forever.

“I also love how athletic the game of soccer is and how it develops you as an athlete. You have to be able to defend and attack no matter what your position is on the field. Despite what anyone may say, soccer takes lots of hard work and skill.”

And she clearly loves playing the sport she loves for Grosse Ile.

“It’s really nice to be able to play in your hometown, in front of your friends and family and see everyone from Grosse Ile support our team,” she said. “I love walking into school the next day and being asked about the game or teachers and students to come congratulate us on a win. I love my school team and have the highest hopes for two seasons I have left here. Our connection on the field is amazing and our passing game is incredible, but what’s even more impressive is our connection off the field. I love them all.”

The daughter of Laura and Bill Fleming, Caroline considers herself fortunate to have so many wonderful influences in her life, both on and off the pitch.

“All my current and past coaches have influenced me greatly along with my parents obviously for spending countless of weekends around Michigan for my games and the long weekend tournaments,” she said. “Also my older sister Emma, who plays college soccer for St. Lawrence University in New York. Whenever she is home she is helping me with my game.”

Caroline also excels in the classroom (3.85 GPA) and in cross country (state qualifier). But soccer is her main sport.

She plays in the midfield and forward, depending on where GI coach Amy Rossow needs her the most. And this past season, she created an incredible one-two punch with freshman Abby King.

“We both kind of play the same type of soccer,” she says. “Neither of us like to do extremely fancy things but believe that solid simple tactics can win games and we both know exactly where the other one wants the ball. Abby sees me well on the field and I try to return the favor. I’d say so far it’s working.”

The two have played travel soccer together in the past and that familiarity on the field has certainly helped. It also doesn’t hurt that they are friends off the field.

“I love Abby so much,” Fleming said. “She is probably the funniest and nicest person I know. If you need a laugh she won’t fail you. She’s a great person and teammate.”

As a freshman last season, Fleming led the team in assists and was second in goals. She helped lead the Red Devils to Huron League and District titles.

She took her game up a level this past season as a sophomore. Fleming led the team with 28 goals and tied for the team lead with Kate Tobin with 24 assists. The Devils again won the Huron League and finished 20-1-2 on the season.

She is the co-captain on her Downriver Rush travel soccer team which went undefeated two years in a row playing in Premiere one.

Fleming started playing soccer when she was 3 and “loved every bit of it.”

“GISA (Grosse Ile Soccer Association) was basically what every kid where I am from did when they were younger in terms of soccer,” she said. “Then I branched out into travel soccer. Soccer is by far my favorite thing to do.”





Last Updated: 7/5/2014 11:41:22 PM EST

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