GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls CMR girls soccer team got some big news as one of their own, senior defender Lizzy Jaraczeski will be headed to the Big Sky Conference as she committed to play for the Bengals of Idaho State University next year.
“It’s a big relief to be done. I can just enjoy my senior year without having to worry about schools and I’m really happy with my decision. I really love my coach and it’s pretty close to home so it was a perfect place to go,” Jaraczeski said.
As the head of the backline for the Rustlers, Jarazeski is also the leader of the team, a skill she’s developed in her time as a standout and all-conference honors defender.
“I definitely think in high school, I’ve had to develop my leadership skills and it’s been awesome being around these girls all the time but with Issaquah Gunners I usually don’t know the girls I’m going to go play with so it’s just a lot of blending in and learning to play with anyone," she said.
“She’s really an extension of being a coach for me out on the field. She’s able to direct girls on the field and really taken on that role of keeping the energy level high,” head coach Steve Skaer said.
Despite the success Jaraczeski has achieved in high school and with her club teams over the years, there aren’t delusions of grandeur about the jump she’s making from Montana soccer to Division I soccer.
“Yeah definitely being from Montana and going Division I is going to be hard but I’m definitely ready for it. I’ve talked to a bunch of players and they said it’s a lot of hard work and running so I’m excited for that this summer to finally get a schedule I can get working on,” Jaraczeski said.
With her senior career wrapping up in the coming months, Skaer and Jarazeski are cherishing her final games.
“Just knowing she’s a valuable asset out there like I said as an extension of the coaching staff just trying to cherish every moment,” Skaer said.
“I’m just trying to enjoy everything,” Jaraczeski explained. “I love all my teammates and I love my coach and it’s just an awesome atmosphere to be around everyday and I get to play with my cousin, some of my best friends are on the team so I just love being out with everyone.”
The Rustlers wrap up their regular season schedule October 14 in a crosstown match-up against Great Falls High.