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Desiree Colbert, left, and Greta Gerstner dribble the ball during a recent Lady Lancer practice.

Desiree Colbert, left, and Greta Gerstner dribble the ball during a recent Lady Lancer practice. (Bryan Mitchell / S&S)

UK weekly edition, Wednesday, May 2, 2007

RAF LAKENHEATH — Desiree Colbert and Greta Gerstner have big plans for the future.

Colbert is on track to attend Texas A&M University to study biology with hopes of becoming a military flight surgeon, while Gerstner is set to pursue her soccer career at a community college in Mississippi and study graphic design.

But first, they’re working to lead the Lakenheath girls soccer team to the same type of success they enjoyed on the volleyball court last fall.

The two 18-year-old seniors were part of a Lady Lancer volleyball squad that excelled in the regular season on its way to a third-place finish at the European championship tournament.

Now they’re bringing their athletic prowess to the soccer pitch.

Gerstner is a shifty offensive threat who uses her quick feet and sense of timing to put the ball in the net. Colbert is an indefatigable defender who disrupts opposing offenses.

“We work well together,” Colbert said. “Greta runs the offense, and I’m able to focus on the defense. We both bring our strengths to each side.”

Coach Ann Gerstner, Greta’s mother, said the two make a tough combo.

“They’re always out there constantly feeding the ball and pushing the ball,” she said. “They’re trying hard to do all the right things with the ball.”

The Lady Lancers co-captains’ long-standing friendship helps them lead the team.

Their stint at Lakenheath marks the second time they have lived at the same location overseas. Both attended school in Yokota, Japan, while they were in middle school.

Now they’re together again, staring down the final weeks of their high school career.

“We’re trying to play all the minutes in every game no matter what, injuries or whatever, because we know it’s our last time playing like this,” Colbert said. “It’s weird knowing there’s only two or three weeks left out here.”

The team started out its Division I schedule with two tough losses but rebounded with a win over Wiesbaden. Last week, it fell to Heidelberg 1-0 and Kaiserslautern 3-0 on a trip to Germany. It closes out its Division I regular-season schedule with a home game against Patch on Saturday.

Despite their 1-4 record, Gerstner said the Lady Lancers have shown tremendous improvement over last season’s squad.

“We’re getting it faster and working together better than we ever have,” Gerstner said.

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