Rebecca Bohler had a few of her Samford University teammates in her dorm room last week to watch a tape of last year's state semifinal match-up between Lakeside and South Forsyth.
Lakeside High School's Susanne Rogers is surrounded by her family as she signs a scholarship to play for Georgia Southern.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The collection of Lady Bulldogs watched as a Lakeside player scored the climactic goal that won the game and sent the Lady Panthers to the state title.
"One girl asked, 'Who is that girl? She's pretty good,'" Bohler said. "I said, 'That's Susanne Rogers, and she is pretty great.'"
Georgia Southern surely thought so.
On Thursday, Rogers signed a letter of intent to play soccer at the Statesboro school.
The senior picked the Lady Eagles over North Carolina-Charlotte, Long Island, Georgia State, Memphis and Samford.
"I just fell in love with Georgia Southern when I visited," said Rogers, who committed to the Eagles in December after visiting only Statesboro and Charlotte. "It was close to home. I always wanted to be a city girl growing up, but I know deep down that I'm a country girl."
Rogers drew more interest from colleges after a productive junior season.
Rogers teamed with forward Jamie Lake to notch more than 60 goals for the Panthers. But of all those goals, the best came against South Forsyth.
With less than 10 minutes before the game would be halted for lightning, Ashley Wray scored on a header to tie the game at 1-1.
During the hour-plus delay, Rogers sat in the locker room while many of her teammates danced to stay loose.
"She just sat there and focused," Bohler said, "That shows how special a player she is."
Rogers reflected during the wait on an offsides call that went against her, negating a early goal.
"When Ashley scored, it was like we all got a clean slate," Rogers said.
She scored on a rebound to give Lakeside a 2-1 lead and propelled the Panthers into the state title game, which they lost, 3-2, to Marist.
"That was the best feeling ever," said Rogers, who is the only senior on this year's Lakeside team. "It all happened so fast but it was a great experience even though we lost to Marist."
Rogers now becomes the go-to option for Lakeside after the team lost 10 seniors.
"I know last year might have been the best chance for us to win a state title," she said. "But this year is still going to be fun and we are still going to be good."
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