How do you top a record-breaking rookie season? Try for a new record as a sophomore.
That’s the mission for Willard’s Dylan Owens, whose 25 goals last year set the program’s single-season mark.
This year, Owens put up 11 goals through Willard’s first six games. Best of all, the Lady Tigers remained undefeated (7-0) after shutting out Webb City at home Tuesday night.
"I wanna hit 30 (goals)," Owens said. "But my goal... I just wanna hit as much as I can. I don't wanna stop."
Owens grew up in a soccer-loving family, something she says motivates her on the field. Her dad, Ron, is the former soccer coach for Willard. Her mom works the concession stand for home games and coordinates team-related activities.
Dylan Owens also has two older sisters who play soccer. Lindsay Owens is a senior on this year’s team.
"It's so much fun and it's the best feeling to be able to do that," Dylan Owens said of being on the same team as her sister. "It makes you play a lot harder. I play a lot for my team, but especially my family. I love being able to play with her.”
Dylan “played up” on her older sister Lindsay’s club soccer team, preparing her for the high school level.
Willard coach Brad Hornback was counting down the days until Dylan became eligible.
"I know she was coming," he said. "I had seen her play some club ball. It was kind of like, 'When she gets here, she's going to be on the varsity and have an impact.' I couldn't wait for her to get here as a freshman.
"She had been playing at that level with her club team. She knew what it would take. She had been around high school soccer already."
Dylan said she plays midfield at the club level but moves to the striker role for Willard. Last year, Dylan and Lindsay played the same position.
"I know where she'll always be," Dylan Owens said. "She's just as fast, probably faster, than me. Last year we played striker together.
"Oh, it was amazing because I always knew where she was going to be and she was there when I needed her to be."
Still, the sibling relationship isn’t always picture-perfect, Hornback said.
"It's fun to watch them get at odds, too," he said. "Sometimes I have to let them go a little more than I would let a normal teammate with another teammate as far as what they're saying. But it's fun."