Riverton strikers preparing to pounce
Patrolling the opposite sidelines of any Riverton girls' soccer field, you'll find two forward strikers with different styles but a common goal.
One is calculating and deliberate in every aspect of her game, while the other is passionate and explosive. Darian Jenkins and Mallory Bostic make up a one-two punch for the Silverwolves, and they hope to knock out the competition for Riverton's 2012 season.
Senior Jenkins is pure finesse. She cruises the length of the field with no wasted energy. She has spectacular footwork and is deceptively fast with the ability to put the ball wherever she pleases. Because of her speed and accuracy, Jenkins is able to drill balls into the net from anywhere on the field almost at will. She has already verbally committed to play at UCLA in 2013.
Junior Bostic, on the other hand, is kinetic energy in motion. The right forward is fearless charging the side of the field trying to take advantage of long drives. Bostic is powerful and can recklessly lunge at loose balls with the power to take advantage of slower fullbacks and napping goalkeepers.
"We come to the field to play hard," Bostic said.
The bitter taste of last year's 5A quarterfinal loss to Davis is still in their mouths. The 1-0 loss was made even more painful by the fact that one of their own scored the single goal. There is no need to search for another motivating factor for Jenkins and Bostic. Embracing last year's disappointment has bonded the Silverwolves to treat every game as an elimination match and force the players to compete to the highest level.
"Going farther [in the 5A tournament] this year was and is a motivating factor," Jenkins said. "To be honest, I think it will always be."
Riverton might be on a quest for a championship but there is a chance the Silverwolves will be without Jenkins' scoring dominance for a portion of the season. She is in the final stages of being selected to play for the U-17 USA National Team. If selected, she will join the best under 17-year-old players in the country in September and compete for gold in Azerbaijan. The former Soviet republic is hosting the U-17 World Cup and Jenkins might find herself on the squad.
"It's an amazing opportunity and I have worked really hard to get to this point," Jenkins said.
If she finds herself missing some of the season, Jenkins has full confidence Bostic can carry the responsibility of being both an emotional and scoring leader for Riverton.
"Mallory definitely has a presence on the field," Jenkins said. "She was way good in the past and can only get better in the future."
Bostic is prepared to shoulder the burden of leading the Silverwolves but knows she is a member of team that is focused for the start of regional play against Lone Peak on Aug. 28. Playing hard and working as a team is the shared position for every member of Riverton's squad.
"Everybody on the team is a good leader," Bostic said. "We lead by example and hopefully bring everyone up with us."
Riverton boasts a national team talent
The U-17 World Cup is being held in Azerbaijan from Sept. 22 to Oct. 13, and Darian Jenkins could be selected for the U.S. team.
If she is chosen, Jenkins could potentially miss the final six games of the season.
Jenkins has verbally committed to play at UCLA in 2013.