Three out of four teams made the state tournament. Woodland was the one team that did not, but had the best record and was, arguably, the best team in the county.
The Lady Wildcats went 11-5 overall, a school record in wins, and 6-4 in Region 5-AAAAA. The team was led by a stingy defense that allowed just 13 goals all season while playing a three-back system. Woodland scored 59 goals and gave up 13. The squad’s five losses came by a combined seven goals.
Cartersville also had a very good season, making the state playoffs before losing to Oconee County in the first round for the second season in a row. Last season, the Purple Hurricanes first-round state playoff game ended with Oconee County winning on a goal with 33 seconds left in overtime. This season, the Lady Canes lost by a score of 1-0.
They too had a stingy defense, allowing just 14 goals over the entirety of the season, while scoring 44 themselves.
Meanwhile, Adairsville made the first round of the state playoffs with a record of 10-8 while going 7-7 in Region 5-AAA, the same region as Cartersville.
Cass also made the playoffs while going 5-10 on the season. However, the Lady Colonels were 4-3 in Region 7-AAAA.
In the head-to-head matchups, Cartersville got the better of Adairsville and Cass while flashing the defensive prowess that made them successful all season long. The Canes beat Adairsville twice, 4-0 and 2-0, in addition to beating Cass, 1-0.
Woodland got the better of Cartersville in their head-to-head, defeating the Canes by a score of 2-1. Woodland also beat Cass 1-0.
Co-Players of the Year
Two teams stood out on defense in 2013, and one player on each team was largely responsible.
Emily Moore, The Daily Tribune News 2012 Girls Soccer Player of the Year, again wins the award as the The Daily Tribune News 2013 Girls Soccer Co-Player of the Year, and the accolades speak for themselves. The senior defender has signed a scholarship to play soccer at Charleston Southern University, a Division I college. She is Woodland’s first soccer player to sign with a D-I college. Moore was named to the Region 5-AAAAA first team All-Region Girls Soccer Team in 2013 after becoming a second-team member in 2012. She also was named to play in the Georgia All-Star soccer game.
Moore was a four-year starter for the Wildcats and has made the all-county team each of those years. She is a four-year member of Southern Soccer Academy, a Georgia ODP, Super Y and Region III Premier League Player. Her team won the Georgia State Cup in 2012. Moore’s club team also finished 2012 as the No. 1-ranked club team in the state.
“As good of a player as Emily is, she is an even better person,” Woodland’s head coach Kyle Morgan said of Moore. “She is such as selfless player and I honestly feel that I could put her anywhere on the field and we would be a better team. That is the best compliment I can give her. She has been a pleasure to coach.”
In addition to Moore, Sydney James was outstanding in 2013. The goalie gave up just 10 goals in 17 games for Cartersville. She shut out the opposing team in 11 games this season. Cartersville head coach Roger Lowe also believes Cartersville’s captain was the field leader, which was evident during all of the Canes’ games.
James was selected to the Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Girls Soccer Classic.
“Sydney James truly is one of the best goalkeepers in our area,” Lowe said after a game in 2012 when James stopped two penalty kicks after regulation in a 1-0 victory over Southeast Whitfield.
She was even better in 2013 as Cartersville lost six of its seven matches by one goal.
Destiny Wood — Woodland
Wood led Woodland’s potent offensive attack with 17 goals. The sophomore forward also added five assists on the year. “She can strike the ball with power with both feet and has good touches in the final third,” Morgan said of Wood, “She improved in all areas from her freshman to sophomore year.”
Keri Cagle — Woodland
The freshman forward makes what may be the first of many all-county teams and was second on the team in goals with 10. She also had four assists on the season. “Outstanding work rate, very good pace and loves to compete,” Morgan said of Cagle. “She impacts the game every time she steps on the field.”
Rachel Dodson — Woodland
According to Morgan, Dodson, along with Moore, was a key reason why the team was able to run its three-back system. “[Dodson is] very athletic and able to get forward,” Morgan said.
Stefanie Will — Cartersville
The center midfielder and striker scored 11 goals and had 12 assists in 2013. “She is a team leader and heart of the team,” Lowe said of Will. “She made the other players around her better.”
Sydney Miller — Cartersville
The freshman striker scored 10 goals to go along with seven assists after earning a starting role the last nine games of the season.
Victoria Everhart — Cartersville
James was not the only player who made the Canes’ defense strong. Lowe believes Everhart organized and controlled that defense. “She is a hard worker at practice and intense player on game days,” Lowe said.
Cassidy Greene — Adairsville
The senior captain wrapped up a tremendous career by scoring 24 goals and assisting on seven for the Lady Tigers. In her career, she scored 62 goals to put her third on the all-time scoring list in school history. Her 24 career assists and 70 career starts are both school records.
She scored the winning goal against Gordon Central and will attend Tennessee Wesleyan College this fall on a soccer scholarship. She was also selected to play in the Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Girls Soccer Classic.
Nisa Ayers — Adairsville
Ayers was also a senior captain and scored 11 goals to go along with seven assist from the midfield. She scored 27 goals in her career. “Nisa was our emotional leader. She willed us to the state playoffs,” Adairsville assistant coach Lance Hall said. “In my 27 years as a high school coach Nisa was one of the best leaders I ever coached.”
Emily Sexauer — Adairsville
The sophomore holding midfielder had four goals and two assists on the season, but Sexauer’s impact goes beyond the statistics. “Emily is the engine of the Adairsville Lady Tigers soccer,” Hall said. “As the match goes on, the faster Emily gets. She was able to shut down the other teams’ midfield.”
Emily Lowe — Cass
The sophomore defender won the Defensive Player of the year Award this past season for Cass. “She did a great job for us stopping and slowing down the offensive attacks of the opposing teams,” Cass head coach Phil Phillips said. “She has a knack of knowing when to attack and steal the ball from an attacker. Emily is one of those players who will always give you 100 percent during practice and in a game.”
Mallary Hedden — Cass
Hedden was named Co-Offensive Player of the Year for Cass. The junior led the team in goals and assists with eight. “Mallary is a player who truly loves the game and it shows in her work ethic,” Phillips said.
Camey Kirkland — Cass
The junior was also named Co-Offensive Player of the Year for Cass. Camey also scored eight goals for the Lady Colonels and added six assists while making the transition from defense to offense in 2013.
“Camey is a good fundamentally sound soccer player,” Phillips said. “She has played every position on the field for us, except goalie. She is a team player and will do whatever it takes to compete.”
Honorable Mention: Hailie Parshall, Woodland; Alicia Vasquez, Woodland; Kaitlyn Eubanks, Woodland; Abby Wheeless, Woodland; Amber Fuller, Woodland; Anna Phillips, Cartersville; Haley Pittman, Adairsville; Cherish Lowery Jr., Adairsville; Rachael Jackson, Cass; Katelyn Marsala, Cass.