Bigelow’s defense crucial for two GCA teams

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Greenwood Christian senior Ellie Bigelow is the rare student-athlete accustomed to being both the first and the last line of defense.

At the moment, the latter is true.

Bigelow, a four-year starting goalie for the Cougars in women’s football, fearlessly throws, twists and turns her 5-foot, 7-inch frame in the direction needed to keep the ball out of the net.

These same instincts will soon benefit the women’s basketball team. Bigelow has mostly played the role of a shooting guard over the past three winters, averaging 10.1 points and 2.2 assists as a junior, but she plans to occupy the point more this season.

This means focusing on the opposing player as he crosses midfield.

“I think either way you have to be super nimble and especially as a goalkeeper have that hand-eye coordination,” said Bigelow, co-football captain alongside the second-year midfielder. Izzy Cameron, Cougars top scorer with eight goals this year. season.

“For me, personally, playing a goalie is about being positive and encouraging.”

Should help lead a very young team – defensemen Karis Goins and Chloe Grider are the only other seniors – Bigelow’s example on and off the pitch (she also has a GPA of 3.83) is vital. Greenwood Christian was 2-8-1 in Tuesday’s game at Brown County.

Meanwhile, its deviations and all-out stops are plentiful. Bigelow entered Tuesday after making 806 saves in his GCA career; she’s 180 this season after making 272 as a junior. Bigelow had a staggering 29 saves in each of the team’s recent losses to Greenwood and Shelbyville.

“We have an extremely young team,” said second-year Cougars coach Christina Hunter. “What Ellie brings is motivation. This kid is competitive and she never stops. Its level of competitiveness does not weaken in practice and it does not weaken in matches.

“With Ellie, I never have to motivate her from the outside.”

The dilemma Hunter faces in every game is when to take Bigelow out of the net and advance in an attempt to generate a much needed attack; the senior scored two goals in her limited time as a fielder. The downside, of course, is that it makes Cougars more vulnerable defensively. GCA have lost five games by one goal this season and two more by two goals.

Bigelow has learned to communicate with her teammates no matter where she is lined up.

“Ellie tried to find different styles of communication to try to develop a specific way of leading that made sense to each teammate,” said Hunter. “She really worked on developing herself as a leader.”

Despite her success in football, Bigelow’s time in the sport is likely coming to an end, as she hopes to play college basketball at the Division II, Division III, or NAIA level. Bigelow has helped lead Greenwood Christian’s hoops to a Class A semi-state each of the past two seasons.

She plans to major in elementary education and major in business.

“I don’t know where I’m going in college, but I really want to play basketball. I’ve been playing both sports since I was little, but basketball has something special in my heart, ”said Bigelow, who nonetheless plans to make the most of her last football games.

“I’m a really, really competitive person so I go out there and try to win no matter what. I feel like our group is doing a good job of keeping things as positive as possible.

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