The Augusta Preparatory Day School girls soccer team is off to another great start to the season and junior Caroline Smith is a big part of that.
A Georgia Independent School Association 2013 All-Region 4-AAA and All-State performer, the Lady Cavaliers’ junior captain has scored 14 goals as the team has jumped out to a 11-0-1 record heading into the GISA playoffs. What’s she’s been doing is nothing new.
“Caroline obviously came in eighth-grade, like we can in private schools, and played and has been up front and scoring goals for us for years,” said head coach Tom Norton.
“She’s very enthusiastic about soccer in general and the team, and has kind of inspired the girls with her love of it. She’s just always ready to go and always at a high intensity level when she’s out here practicing and giving her best and that’s what you need from your leaders, I think.”
Smith started playing soccer at the Y when she was four and has never looked back. Her game has improved along the way.
“I’ve just gotten better gradually, just the more playing I do, the smarter I get, too,” said Smith, who thinks a lot of that comes from playing multiple positions.
“I play outside back for club and for here I play striker. It’s a pretty big change, flipping your mind practically. You’ve got to get more knowledge to understand it, to have it finally click.”
Norton likes that Smith has the talent to play different positions.
The 5-foot-2-inch Smith uses her size to her advantage.
“I like being crafty, trying more tight-space moves,” she said. “I’m definitely not so much power.”
Smith already knows where she’ll be playing in two years. She plans to play college soccer and verbally committed to play for Mercer University (Macon, Ga.) a month ago.
“They have great facilities and they keep growing,” Smith said.
“I love the coaches. It seemed like a great place for me. Also I wanted to stay near home. I do like home.”
Committing early took a weight off her shoulders as well.
“I was relieved getting that over with,” said Smith, who wants to be a doctor. “A lot of my teammates (at club) have already committed. It raises your confidence. It’s fun to think about, it’s great.”