New Spartans keeper learning on the ‘Fly’

By Chris Yow

When all three of Summit’s goal keepers went down with injuries, including 2019 All-District senior Addie Johnson, coach Deni Ismailovic turned to Jenna Fly and put the burden on the junior defender.

“Obviously, we are banged up right now. I think (Johnson) went down; it doesn’t look good,” he said. “We have three keepers they are all out.”

Racing to get to a ball in the corner of the box, Johnson stretched her leg out and it buckled, leaving her on the turf of her home field before being helped off by trainers and coaching staff.

Tied at 0-0, Fly entered the match for the first time as a keeper for her varsity team, but not for the first time ever.

“It’s a lot different from playing the field. I’ve played goal keeper before, but never for varsity,” Fly said following the game. “When I got subbed in, I was stressed because I knew what was happening with (Johnson), but once they scored, I relaxed a little.”

Summit goal keeper Jenna Fly kicks out a loose ball against Nolensville on Tuesday. (Photo by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports)

Ismailovic said he thought Fly played well for the most part.

“Jenna does a good job for us, she never complains,” he said. “She does what we ask her to do, and we need her in goal right now. I’m proud of all the girls, we are trying to piece things together.”

Summit fell 2-0 to Nolensville on Tuesday night when Johnson was injured. Both goals were scored against Fly, one in each half. The first of which was an arching shot just too far out of her upward-reaching hand.

“I would like to think our normal keeper would get that, but now that we are going with Jenna, we have to grind our teeth and defend a little better,” Ismailovic said. “We got a little tired because of injuries, but everyone is dealing with that now.”

In the Spartans’ district match against Brentwood, a 4-0 loss on Thursday, Fly said she just has to warm up and prepare to play her best against a very good team.

“I just have to warm up and treat every game as any another game,” Fly said. “I can’t go in nervous, I just have to play hard.”

Mason Wells scored a hat trick before the half to lead the Bruins in the game. Haley Hannah scored the final goal in the win.

“Brentwood is very good,” Ismailovic said. “I have been coaching club for a long time, and I have coached a lot of those kids. They are a great team and the type of program that we are striving to get to.”

Chris Yow is the multimedia director at SM-Tn Sports. Contact him at or follow on Twitter @ChrisYow14.

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