Academy star scores seven goals
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – She found the net early and often.
Sydney Emerson, who is in the final stages of what has been a phenomenal career as a soccer player at LaGrange Academy, scored seven goals to lead her team to a 7-1 victory over Logansville Christian on Monday afternoon.
It was a breakthrough win for the Lady Warriors, who dropped their first three games.
While there are a handful of veterans on the roster, most notably Anderson who has been starting and excelling since she was in the eighth grade, it is a team with a lot of inexperience.
“We’ve got two girls here who have never played before,” Anderson said. “They’ve never touched a soccer ball before, never played rec or anything. I convinced them to come out this year. They came out, and they did not want to play. It took a while to convince them, but they came out, and they absolutely loved it. So that’s fun.”
Anderson said she has enjoyed watching her new teammates learn the sport.
“It’s fun to watch how much they’ve improved,” Anderson said. “I enjoy that a lot. They’re enjoying it, and that’s all I really want, honestly.”
Anderson is grateful for the presence of the new players since it’s possible there wouldn’t have been a team without them.
“I was kind of worried we weren’t going to have a team. I was so thankful for them,” Anderson said. “So I’m enjoying my final season.”
LaGrange Academy coach Zac Knight appreciates the contributions Anderson is making.
“She’s been a good leader on the team,” Knight said. “She’s a senior, and she’s played travel ball for several years.”
Knight said it has been, and will continue to be, a learning process for a team with so much inexperience.
“We’ve had some who have never played before, and they’ve really come along,” Knight said. “It’s a growing process, but I’m proud of them. I’m looking for them to grow and they can eventually become good players if they’ll stick with it.”
When the season ends, it will likely mark the end of Anderson’s time as a competitive soccer player since she won’t be playing in college.
Anderson is clearly talented enough to play on the college level, but she said she’s going to focus on her academics since she’ll be a pre-med major.
“It was a hard decision, and really tough, but that’s what I decided,” she said.
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