By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Played at its highest level, soccer is multitasking in its highest form.
With the ball at your feet, and within seconds, a player must maintain control, while having awareness of where they are on the field and how that dictates their next move. All while watching for open teammates, as opposing players rush and pressure you. In a fast-paced situation, which is duplicated many times over throughout the course of a game, each movement of the ball, without looking down, is calculated and controlled.
One wrong touch or slow reaction and a mistake can be glaring.
It is not easy.
And it is not always meant to look easy, either.
It is a form of art.
At Field, the artist is senior defender Savannah Rahe.
Few in the area play with such confident grace on the field and make the difficult look so effortless.
The reality is that she is just that talented.
“Savannah is probably one of the best players I have seen play at the high-school level,” Field girls soccer head coach Jason Schindler said. “It is like watching an ice skater on the field. She is very graceful and very calm with the ball. She is as close to tactical perfection for a player as you can get.”
As the Falcons’ center back, Rahe’s skill-set provides a natural calm amongst her teammates because she rarely makes a mistake.
Her history as an elite defender, though, actually started by accident.
While playing with her club team with her younger sister Delilah, her coach wrongly confused the two sisters during a tournament in Sandusky.
Throughout the course of the season, Delilah Rahe had been playing defense and Savannah Rahe had been playing forward.
When the coach announced the lineup, he mixed the two names up and because they looked close enough alike, he did not recognize the error.
Even when Savannah double-checked.
“Are you sure you want me at left back,” Savannah remembered asking him.
She also remembered being a little nervous, but relied on her abilities and instincts.
She has never left the back line since.
“I found my spot,” she says.
Rahe earned varsity minutes as a freshman, playing alongside her older sister McKenna Rahe, who was a senior at the time.
The roles reversed when Savannah became the upperclassmen to younger sister Delilah two seasons ago.
In total, the Falcons’ girls soccer program has had at least one Rahe sister on the varsity team for the last seven seasons.
All have earned All-Metro Athletic Conference status and Savannah has been integral to fulfilling the possession-based philosophy of Schindler.
“Savannah plays with such a calm presence. When she gets the ball, I have so much confidence, and her teammates do, too, that she will make the right decision,” Schindler said. “There really are no weaknesses in her game.”
Rahe started playing when she was 4 years old, then linked up, through soccer, with her best friend Cassie Wilde at age 5. Rahe has played ever since, except for sixth grade when she took the fall off to return to acro dance and quickly realized how much she missed playing.
And she missed the team aspect.
“One of the things I love most about soccer is being around my friends, especially my sisters,” Rahe said. “I enjoy the camaraderie, and I feel like I have learned how to grow into a leadership role. I was quiet as a freshman and sophomore, but last year and this year, I have found my voice and my confidence has continued to grow. I owe a lot of that to my teammates, but also my parents, family, friends and coaches for always supporting me.”