Sydney Emerson has become well-acquainted with the opposing team’s goal this season.
Emerson, a freshman on the LaGrange Academy soccer team, has enjoyed a spectacular, record-breaking season.
The Lady Warriors have played 12 games this season, and Emerson has scored 49 goals, an average of about four goals a game.
Emerson shattered the school record for goals in a season, and she also scored seven goals last week against Arlington to set a single-game record.
Emerson is also already closing in the on the school’s career scoring record, and she has a chance to achieve that before this season is over.
Emerson and her LaGrange Academy teammates will be at home today for the opening round of the GISA Class AA state tournament.
LaGrange Academy, which won the Region 4-AA championship, will host Valwood at 5 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state quarterfinals.
“We’re really excited,” Emerson said. “We’re so young, and we have so many people who haven’t played before. But we’re definitely excited. We have a lot of momentum going into it. We’ve had such a successful season. We just want to go out and play, have fun.”
Emerson has been having a lot of fun this season.
She didn’t play as an eighth-grader, but she joined the team this season, and she has made a massive impact.
“She’s a great kid,” LaGrange Academy coach Mike Petite said. “We’ve got a young group, with Emerson kind of leading the way. We’ve excited about what we can do.”
Coming into the season, Emerson said she wasn’t thinking about setting records, she “just wanted to go out and play.”
“I just love to play,” she added. “I don’t really focus on (stats). The results are nice, but just being out here is fun. I don’t put pressure on myself.”
Emerson also said she is grateful to her teammates who have helped her score all of the goals.
“Everybody’s talking about the record, and I’m like, y’all are the ones getting me the ball,” Emerson said. “You’re the reason I get all those goals.”
While Emerson is clearly the number one scoring option, she’s hardly the only LaGrange Academy player who knows how to put the ball in the net.
Caitlynn Croft, Sydney Allen and Brandi Smalls have also reached double digits in goals scored.
“We’re seeing a lot of people score,” Petite said. “We’re spreading it around.”
The Lady Warriors finished their regular season with an 8-1 victory over Arlington Christian on Thursday.
That win wrapped up a perfect region record for the Lady Warriors, who are 11-1 overall.
Emerson and Allen each scored four goals for LaGrange Academy.
“I am very happy for these girls to win the region and in the fashion they did,” Petite said. “They are also just not satisfied with a region championship and are hungry and ready for the state playoffs to begin.”
Petite added that “we are playing some of our best soccer at the right time of the season and we will need to continue to work as we look to progress through the state playoffs. Playing at home is a nice reward for all of the hard work they have put in so far this season.”