Lydia Holtmann grew up watching the Catholic Lady Irish experience nothing but success on the soccer field – district title after district title, and a state championship in 2010 when she was in 8th grade.
She’s happy, and a bit humbled, to help carry on Catholic’s soccer legacy.
Coming off a first team all-state season in 2012, the Lady Irish midfielder started the season off fast with four goals in a 5-1 home win over Carl Junction on March 15. She recorded an assist on Catholic’s other goal.
For Holtmann, it’s crazy to think that just two years ago she scored the game-winning goal in Catholic’s 3-2 win over St. Vincent in the Class 1 state title game.
“It doesn’t really feel like I’m a junior,” Holtmann said. “I always looked up to the seniors when I was younger and before I came in. I never really thought about, after I graduate, how the younger players will remember me.
“I was comfortable my freshman year because (the seniors) were in my brother’s grade, so they were girls I knew really well. Last year, I played with the seniors for a year so I knew them. Now it’s a smaller senior class, so it’s like my grade has to step up and be the leaders, too.”
Holtmann knows the responsibility that comes with playing for Catholic. The Lady Irish won state titles in 2010 and 2011 before finishing third last year. Catholic has won 10 straight district titles, 11 overall since the program started in 1998.
“Every single game we come into people think, ‘Oh, it’s state champions,’” she said. “So it’s scary and you have to keep your name up there. But it makes us play even harder. You wanna play for your team and what you have.”
Holtmann’s older sister Elle, a 2007 graduate, holds Catholic’s career assist record. Lydia Holtmann is approaching the top 10 of the career points list, said coach Ben Timson, with about two more seasons to go.
“Lydia was always tiny,” Timson said. “Even through middle school she was really small. I wasn’t sure how she might stand up at the high school level. When she got here, she’s grown a little, she’s such a dynamo that it makes for any lack of size.”