BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC :West Indies selectors have retained faith in the same 13-man squad for the second Test against Pakistan starting here tomorrow, despite their drubbing in the opening match in Kingston.The Caribbean side underperformed with the bat to plunge to a seven-wicket defeat, 20 minutes after lunch on last Monday’s final day at Sabina Park.West Indies entered the contest with a greenhorn batting line-up which included Vishal Singh and Shimron Hetmyer on debut but selectors have opted against changes and will enter the critical game at Kensington Oval with the same squad.Singh and Hetmyer failed in both innings along with Shai Hope and usually dependable opener Kraigg Brathwaite, but rookies Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich both managed half-centuries.Another defeat for West Indies in the upcoming match will hand Pakistan their first-ever Test series win in the Caribbean.West Indies arrived late Wednesday and trained on Thursday and yesterday, as head coach Stuart Law brushed up on final preparations for the game.The hosts won their last Test at the venue two years ago when they defeated England by five wickets inside three days.SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Vishal Singh, Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope, Jermaine Blackwood, Shannon Gabriel, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Miguel Cummins.
Julia Humphries never expected to play goalkeeper at Oaks Christian School of Westlake Village, especially after her first venture in net nine years ago resulted in a ball rolling between her legs and across the line for a goal. Oaks Christian coach Jan Hethcock didn’t know if he could find an athlete capable of replacing Katie Lorier, a three-year starter in goal for the Lions’ girls’ soccer team. In Humphries, a 17-year-old senior, Hethcock might have discovered an even better one. “When Katie graduated, I told Julia I needed a goalie, and she agreed to play there, even though she was a field player on JV as a freshman,” Hethcock said. “Her attitude is, ‘I’ll do what I need to do to help the team.’” Despite several injuries playing soccer and softball in high school, most recently a dislocated left kneecap, Humphries has continued to bounce back to add to her legacy as one of the school’s most revered athletes. “Julia’s probably the most gifted all-around athlete that’s ever played at the school,” Lions softball coach Pete Ackermann said of his starting second baseman. “She might not always get the recognition, but her teammates know how valuable she is.” In five previous varsity seasons – two in soccer, three in softball – Humphries reached five Southern Section finals and was part of four championship teams, two in each sport. She also had a profound impact on the success of the school’s junior-varsity track and field team as a freshman. Following softball practice one day, Ackermann recalled Humphries walking up to the stadium in her tennis shoes and winning the triple jump. She had never before competed in the event. Her victory led Oaks Christian to an upset of Nordhoff of Ojai, which had captured the JV title in the Frontier League for several years without a loss. “Julia asked how far she needed to jump to win, and the coach drew a line in the pit, and she jumped past that line,” Ackermann said. “She wanted to do something to help her friends on the track team. Those are the types of kids you love to coach.” Hethcock, who has coached numerous all-section and all-state players at Christian High in San Diego and Oaks Christian, considers Humphries one of the best he’s ever coached. “You don’t get very many kids like this in your coaching career. She’s one of a kind,” said Hethcock, whose team brings a 24-game league unbeaten streak into today’s Frontier opener at rival Nordhoff. “I don’t know very many kids who have the tenacity she does. She has a huge commitment to her team because she doesn’t want to let them down.” Humphries has demonstrated her dedication on several occasions this season, most recently in Friday’s 2-0 victory over Rio Mesa of Oxnard. She returned to play for the Lions (8-2-1) less than 48 hours after a doctor took X-rays to determine if she had suffered a torn meniscus in her left knee. “(My mom, Jill) made me go to the doctor, and the doctor said I shouldn’t play,” said Humphries, who has 61 saves and 69 takeaways in nine games this season. “But the doctor said it wasn’t torn, so my attitude was, ‘I’ve already played this far, so I’m not doing anything I haven’t already done.’ I figure it can’t get much worse.” Humphries suffered the injury in the first half of a 2-0 nonleague loss Dec. 6 against Buena of Ventura. Despite playing on one good leg during the final 40 minutes, she still finished with 10 saves and eight takeaways. “It all happened so fast. There were like three shots in a row, and I tried to get up and walk, and it was really painful,” Humphries said. “That was like the worst day ever. It was horrible.” It wasn’t the first time Hethcock thought he might have lost Humphries for an extended time, if not the season. During the 2004 Southern Section Div. V soccer semifinals, Humphries hyperextended her back after landing awkwardly following an acrobatic save against Marymount of Los Angeles. The game was stopped for 10 minutes, but Humphries continued in goal to help the Lions to the division final. “I’ve learned that Julia is going to have to be broken to not play,” Hethcock said. “Her approach is ‘It’s going to hurt whether I play or not, so why not play.’” That spring, she tore both groin muscles during softball season, although she fought through the pain and continued to play. Last year, she suffered a concussion in a soccer game against Alemany of Mission Hills and had to be taken off the field. She dislocated her left thumb in practice earlier this season. “If you get an injury, you’re thinking as long as you can walk it off, it’s fine,” said Humphries, who is Oaks Christian’s all-time leader in takeaways (361) and second in career saves (228) and shutouts (34). “Sometimes, it’s not always perfect. My thumb is almost down to its normal size, and my knee doesn’t hurt at all, as long as I don’t straighten my leg.” Through it all, Humphries – who carries a 3.7 grade-point average – said she wouldn’t trade the bumps, bruises and battle scars for anything. “I’m out there because I love playing with the girls, and I love the game,” Humphries said. “I never want to sit and watch. It kills me to not be out there playing.” Erik Boal, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! 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