Eight earn All-Conference soccer recognition; Woolard wins Coach of the Year

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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Eight county high school soccer players and Northside coach Jennifer Woolard earned post-season soccer honors.

Washington seniors Jesmelly Lugo and Anna Claire Bilbro and junior MaryPage Moore were named to the 2A Eastern Plains All-Conference team, while Southside seniors Amber Dickinson and Alexandra Clark along with junior Lilly Davis were on the 1A Coastal Plains All-Conference team.

Northside, competing in girls soccer for the first time in school history, placed juniors Lauren Rouse and Gabriella Jordan on the squad and Jennifer Woolard was voted Coach of the Year by her peers.

“I was very surprised when they told me because I assumed one of the more established coaches would get it,” Woolard said. “I’m very thankful and appreciative that the other coaches recognized the hard work we all put in to get this program going.”

Rouse and Jordan were key contributors on and off the field according to Woolard.

“They were our fastest, most advanced ball-handlers and were good leaders,” she said. “I’m very proud of all of them because we went from a group who hadn’t touched a ball to a team that controlled the ball for 90 minutes in a very short period of time. I’m very pleased with our progress and look forward to having everyone back plus some new faces next year.”

Davis finished with 18 goals and three assists for Southside, to finish fifth in the league in scoring. Dickinson and Clark were veteran defenders who contributed to multiple playoff runs.

“They were a great defensive pair,” coach Jay Petty said. “Both were athletic and physical and were team leaders. Lilly is a great all-around player and very dedicated to getting better.  It will be nice to have her back next year.”

Lugo scored 15 goals for the Pam Pack and will continue her career at Chowan University. Moore scored 10 goals and had 10 assists, while Bilbro contributed eight goals and six assists.

All three of these players were part of a core group of girls who I depended on a lot,” coach Kendall Cox said.  “They all knew the game and played it well. I could tell them I needed them in a certain position because I was confident they could play it even if they had never played it before. If I needed an insight on anything with the team, what was going on during the game or just to check in, they were the players I would find first. They worked hard and helped keep the team motivated.”