Up & Coming Weekly

March 26, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 24 of 32

24 UCW MARCH 27-APRIL 2, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS Wins, pressure keep mounting for Terry Sanford girls soccer team by EARL VAUGHAN JR. EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWSports@gmail. com. 910-364-6638. Terry Sanford's girls soccer team is hav- ing the same kind of season so far that it's enjoyed the last two years under head coach Karl Molnar. That means two things for the Bulldogs: more wins and more pressure. In the past two years, the Bulldogs topped the 20-win mark both times, while suffering only one defeat, that coming both times in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state play- offs. Two years ago, they got all the way to the 3-A Eastern finals. Last year they lost in the third round. Through March 20, this year's team is 5-0. "Obviously, the pressure just builds,'' Molnar said. "The target seems to get bigger. Other teams continue to grow their programs, and other teams are shooting for you.'' But while the pressure is real, Molnar said it's also a positive. "We often talk about (how) pressure is a privilege,'' he said. "You're doing things right (if ) the games matter that much.'' Terry Sanford's quick start this year is an impres- sive accomplishment considering the graduation losses the Bulldogs suffered. "We lost some very talented young ladies last year,'' Molnar said. He mentioned standouts like Talia Parrous, Christina Rice and Ally Gustafson. "Those were some big shoes to fill, but we've had some people step up,'' he said. One of the biggest has been junior forward and midfielder Corrine Shovlain, who leads the team in goals through March 20 with 14. Kate Perko came to the Bulldog program from nearby Fayetteville Academy and has pro- vided tough play in the middle of the field. Maiya Parrous, recently recovered from illness, is also beginning to shine. Goalkeeper play is solid for Terry Sanford with senior Lindsay Bell in the net. Through March 20, Bell has only allowed one goal in 14 shots on goal. But as well as the Bulldogs are playing, Molnar said they're not in state playoff form yet. "It's still early in the season,'' he said. Also, some games Molnar was banking on to help the Bulldogs hone their performance to a finer edge won't be played. The Patriot Athletic Conference that Terry Sanford plays in has some traditionally weak pro- grams that don't provide Terry Sanford the stron- gest possible test. Molnar hoped to bolster the Bulldog schedule with nonconference games against good teams from Jack Britt and Union Pines. But the rash of bad weather has forced multiple rescheduled games for the Bulldogs. Since confer- ence games are a priority, Molnar had to wipe the contests with Jack Britt and Union Pines from the slate, and now it's unlikely those games will be played this season. "We develop and push and try to get them on the same sheet of music as much as you can during the sea- son, so you are peaking at the end of the sea- son,'' Molnar said. That's not easy when the teams you face in the state playoffs are seasoned, with numer- ous players who take part in club soccer pro- grams year-round. "Those teams that beat us in the state tournament are solid at every position,'' Molnar said. "There's not a weak spot on the field, and they've got two or three girls rotating in that aren't weak spots.'' But that is no deterrent to the confidence of Terry Sanford players like Shovlain, who said the Bulldogs have high expectations again this season and are trying to get stronger every game, regard- less of the level of competition. "What we do is take every practice seriously,'' she said. "We have to push ourselves to our best abilities. Even though we play weaker teams, we all try to push each other during those games. We all communicate and pass. We work on different plays that will help us in the playoffs.'' Shovlain feels the Bulldogs have a strong offen- sive attack and that the defense led by Maiya Parrous and Kara Walker is getting stronger. "Working as a team is a big thing,'' Shovlain said. "At the end of the day, if we all try our best, I think we'll come out with a W.'' Karl Molnar Corrine Shovlain ucw 1/4h Attention Students: Let Your Voice Be Heard Get published in our award-winning community newspaper Up & Coming Weekly Send in your feature articles, editorials, short stories, movie and music reviews or original poetry and artwork to: highschoolhighlights@upandcomingweekly.com Subject line: High School Highlights Please include your photo and school information.

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