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Narveson rides out in style
Sugar Rivers Vanessa Narveson races up the field with the ball during a WIAA sectional semifinal game against Madison Edgewood at Belleville High School on Thursday. To order this photo, click here. (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
BELLEVILLE - Sugar River senior Vanessa Narveson wants to ride on a fire truck one more time before her prep soccer career comes to an end.

Narveson and the Sugar River girls soccer team may get a chance with a WIAA Division 3 state semifinal game against Seymour at 5 p.m. Thursday at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. If the Raiders (23-2-2), ranked third in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association Division 3 state poll, beat Seymour (16-4-6), they will advance to the state championship game and assure themselves a third ride on a fire truck.

"It's always been a tradition to ride on a fire truck if we win conference, regional or go to state," Narveson said. "We rode through Belleville and New Glarus after regionals and the sectional. It's our goal to ride on the fire truck again. Anything can happen. We believe it can happen."

Sugar River has been making believers out of fans and teams along the way. A big reason for the confidence is Narveson and a senior-laden group of talented soccer players.

Narveson first started playing soccer in first grade in New Glarus. She played as a midfielder and used her speed to excel at scoring goals and creating scoring chances for teammates.

"I have loved it ever since," she said of soccer.

Narveson is a three-sport athlete at New Glarus High School. She played volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and soccer in the spring. Narveson is a four-year starter and was moved to forward in high school. She leads the Raiders in scoring with 27 goals, an average of one goal per game.

"My coach wanted me to use my speed up top," she said. "I have always used my speed to beat people."

The last time Sugar River made a trip to state in 2004, Narveson was in kindergarten. She recalls the pep rally at the school and the fire truck ride.

"That is when I realized that going to state in soccer was what I wanted to do," she said. "I have always dreamed of going to state. That was my goal since I was little. I don't think it has hit us yet. We are really excited."

Narveson said the key in knocking off Seymour in the state semifinal is working together and passing the ball around to take advantage of shots on goal.

"It's not an individual person that beats a team," Narveson said. "It's a team. I think our team works well together and we look for the best shot. We know how to defend and we have some great scorers."

When she's not involved in games or practices for various sports or doing homework, Narveson's hobby is riding horses. She used to show horses when she was younger.

Narveson will attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the fall and plans to major in radiology. She's not playing soccer in college, but she said she may play intramural basketball and soccer at UW-Milwaukee.

"If I don't like Milwaukee, I will go to Whitewater and then play soccer," she said.