Prep Soccer: Area girls blessed with lots of returning scoring talent
Four of the top five area scoring leaders return from last season. They are, clockwise from top left, Rachel Spangler of Lincoln County, Samantha Sandidge of Danville, Kate Carman of Boyle County and Shannon Murray of Mercer County. The four combined to score 132 goals, led by Murray¿s 53, last season. (Clay Jackson / August 7, 2012)
Four of the top five leading scorers in the area are back this season, and two of the girls ranked among the best in the state at putting the ball into the net.
Mercer County senior Shannon Murray was second in the state in 2011 with 53 goals, while Lincoln County junior Rachel Spangler was among the state leaders with 34 goals. Danville senior Samantha Sandidge had 26 scores and senior Kate Carman of Boyle County had 19.
It’s a lot of responsibility that each girl is glad to have.
“It’s a good feeling (to score),”¿Spangler said. “Also, I know we have other scorers if I was to get too much attention. I can just pass it off. But I like being challenged. I like being guarded hard and being aggressive, I like it when people put targets on my back.”
Carman echoed Spangler’s thoughts.
“I kind of like the pressure. I feel it helps me go harder and helps me score goals,”¿Carman said. “I feel like I’m going to be one of the leading scorers on the team, so I’m just going to try and score as much as I can.”
Murray, who had 39 more goals than Mercer’s second-leading scorer last year, loves being in position to score. However, she wouldn’t mind a high assist total, either.
“It would be nice if I can help my teammates score, too, but I don’t mind having to score that many goals,” she said. “It would be great if I could get the other girls scoring as well. That makes us more well-rounded as a team.”
Most of the downside to the scoring pressure, they say, is the fact they are letting down their teammates.
“If I have an off game, I feel bad because there’s just a lot of pressure,” Sandidge said. “I’m not the only who can score, and it’s nice to have other people that can score so I can rely on other people. I like (scoring), but it is a lot of pressure. But I can handle that pressure.”
But what makes a great scorer? The skill, obviously, has to be there. Each player said they could not do it all alone, even if the numbers may show otherwise.
“The key is having strong players that can distribute the ball to me, and I just have to be able to finish it,”¿Carman said.
“It’s all about my teammates,” Spangler said. “I don’t score if I don’t get the ball from them.”
Murray and Carman are both track stars, and say speed is their best weapon to go along with their skills.
“It’s a combination, but I do like it if I can get a through ball and use my speed,” Murray said. “It definitely helps. I know I started running track to get faster and it has helped tremendously. I’ve gotten a lot faster since I started running track.”
Carman knows she’s not going to muscle anyone, so she tries to outrun the defense.
“Speed is a huge key, that’s what I’ve used all my life,” the Boyle scorer said.
Sandidge also likes to use her speed and tries to anticipate what the defense wil so.