Freedom senior Olivia Bloemke has scored eight goals and added six assists this season as the Patriots enter the Class 5A-Region 3 playoffs this week as District 9 champions. Bloemke, who has committed to Rollins College for next season, took some time to talk to the TBSB ahead of the Patriots game against Manatee on Thursday night.
TBSB: One of big things in high school soccer is playing well at the right time, and it seems you guys are doing just that. Is it feeling like you’re peaking at the right to make a run to states?
Olivia Bloemke: Oh yeah, we're definitely peaking at the right time. Our focus this year has just been on trying to finish, and the past couple of games we’ve just found the back of the net and we were able to find each other openings. We’re just really synced right now and working really well together, so I think we can hopefully go far in this tournament.
TBSB: Do you know much about Manatee?
Bloemke: We’ve never played them before and we don’t know much about them. We’re not taking them lightly at all, and we’re going into it just as we would any other opponent.
TBSB: Do you have any specific pregame routine before each game?
Bloemke: I always pray before I play. When the national anthem is going on I always have a quiet time with myself and concentrate on what I need to do before the game, and just get that done.
TBSB: Who’s the player on the team that keeps every relaxed, who keeps everyone loose and having fun?
Bloemke: I think Chloe Stokes has a good sense of humor. She always knows when to crack jokes and take the pressure off.
TBSB: What would it mean to you to make a run to the state finals?
Bloemke: Not just for me, but for the whole team especially the seniors and Coach (Chris) Hinkle I think it would mean a great deal, because our guys went last year, and I don’t think girls soccer at Freedom has gotten the recognition they need so far in their history. It would be great to go as far as we can with the talent that we have.