BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Sophomore Caroline Freer has been identified as an offensive threat having a breakout freshman season for Gov. Livingston's girls soccer team with a team leading 11 goals with 11 assists.

As a sophomore, other teams know who she is.  So, she has to really battle so much more, said Gov. Livingston head soccer coach Mike Roof. "It’s a difficult balancing act between trying to score and distribute the ball to our offense, but she’s been able to do it."

In the October 15th Westfield match-up, Freer had both goals and the overtime winner from 25 yards to give the Lady Highlanders the 2-1 victory. That win marked the third straight victory for the Lady Highlanders in the highly competitive Watchung Division. 

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“She’s an extremely talented players," said Roof. "She’s only a sophomore, so she will only get better. Her soccer IQ is at a higher level than most sophomores. She is more of a silent-type of leader, and she will let her play dictate that.”

For her contribution during this shortened season, sophomore midfielder Caroline Freer is named Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week.

Below are comments from Caroline:

TAPinto: What were some of your team's goals and personal goals for this year's soccer season?

Caroline: We knew we were going to have a competitive season and play some talented Group 3 and 4 schools. Our team’s goals are to play good soccer and show everyone we belong in this high level. Personally, I wanted to make sure I was fit and ready to play. I trained hard over the summer not knowing if we were going to have a season or not. I am grateful we are able to play and want to help our team succeed. 

TAPinto: What are your team's expectations going into the County tournament? 

Caroline: Unfortunately we had a few unlucky losses last week which dropped our seeding in the County tournament. Although we created a little more work for ourselves we are ready to play. If we stay focused and play our best soccer I think we can make it to the finals.

TAPinto: Have you seen your game change since last year?  

Caroline: Yes, my game has changed since last year. We have so many talented players and, because of the short season, we are still trying to find our most effective formation. Coach Roof has asked me to play some new positions, and I am doing my best to adapt and do my part to support the team.

TAPinto: What advice would you give to your fellow young players when playing against older physical varsity players?

Caroline: Be confident, have a positive mindset, and be physically fit. It is definitely a challenge playing against older and tougher girls, but having confidence and a good mentality can be a game changer. 

TAPinto: What has been the best advice you have received from a coach?

Caroline: I have been lucky to have several really great coaches over the years. If I had to pinpoint one piece of advice I think it would be to ask myself in a game situation, “where do I fit in?” Every player has a role on the field regardless if they have the ball. Continually thinking about where you “fit in” forces you to scan the field and make decisions that best suit the team. 

TAPinto: What has been your most memorable game to date? 

Caroline: I would say my most memorable game to date was against Westfield on October 15. I had a lot of family members there to support me, so I wanted to play a good game. Scoring the tying goal with less than 5 minutes in the game was exciting. Then to be lucky enough to score the winning goal in overtime is something I will never forget. 

TAPinto: What club team do you play for? How has club play helped your game?

Caroline: I play for STA in Morristown. My coach, Becki Tweed, has great insight and pushes me to take my game to the next level. Also, playing in this competitive league forces me to play faster and smarter.

TAPinto: Are you aspiring to play soccer in college? 

Caroline: Yes, I would love to play soccer in college. 

TAPinto: Have you started to look at schools?

Caroline: Yes, briefly. I am still a sophomore but I have two older siblings in college so their experiences are helpful in my selection process.

TAPinto: What do you like most about Gov. Livingston?

My favorite thing about Governor Livingston is the atmosphere. I have made great friends and met some excellent teachers. The staff is great, and they want what is best for the students. 

TAPinto: Do you have a favorite subject? Favorite teacher?

Caroline: Yes, my favorite subject is math. I have a few favorite teachers but if I had to pick one I would say Mr. Dunkerton. I had him last year as a freshman. He helped make the transition into highschool easy with his humor and teaching style.

TAPinto: Who is your favorite athlete?

Caroline: My favorite athlete is Rose Lavelle. She has great footwork and speed. Her work ethic is incredible and she is dangerous in the offensive third of the field. She is a relatively young player and has already made a huge difference on the USWNT. 

TAPinto: Do you have a role model?

Caroline: Yes, my mom is my role model. Regardless of what I am doing, she’s taught me to work hard, be positive, play with heart, and “give 150%.” My mom is my biggest fan, and she always reminds me what I do well but more importantly what I need to work on. I look up to her intelligence and desire to follow in her footsteps when I’m older. 

TAPinto: What do you like to do when you are not playing a sport?

Caroline: When not playing a sport, I like to spend time with friends and family, bake, and workout.

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Valairco Heating & Cooling is the proud sponsor of the Highlander Athlete of the Week. Kevin McHugh, Valairco Owner and President and Berkeley Heights resident, is an alumni of Gov. Livingston High School.

Valairco Heating & Cooling is celebrating 50 years in business. They are family owned and operated and know that keeping your HVAC systems running smoothly is important to the comfort of our customers, their families, and their guests. That is why their family is dedicated to taking care of yours, no matter what the issue may be. Using only top-quality parts to perform a higher-standard of service and all their services are backed by their 50 years of professional experience and 5-year comprehensive warranties. This means that when you call our team at Valairco, you benefit from their total commitment to your complete satisfaction.