Evans has been the surprise team in Columbia County girls soccer this year.
Evans High School freshman Tarah Henderson fights for the ball during her team's game against Thomson High School. Henderson currently is one of the leading goal scorers in the county.
Photo by Jason Smith
Many speculate the reason could be the emergence of freshman forward Tarah Henderson.
Henderson has the team-best 23 goals this season, good enough for second-best in the county, but it has been Evans that has reaped the benefits of her scoring.
The Lady Knights are off to an 11-1-1 start this year, the best start in school history. Evans has already qualified for a playoff spot.
"She's a heck of an athlete," said Evans coach Carter Morris. "I think she has a lot of potential to become a great soccer player."
Lakeside geared its game plan to limit Henderson's touches during a recent game and won, 3-1, despite surrendering a goal to Henderson.
"We know how good she is," said Lakeside forward Ashley Wray. "We knew that the key to the game was keeping the balls away from her. She is real good and real fast."
But it is Henderson who says the excitement about her game needs to be tempered.
"Soccer is a team game, and we have a lot of great players on our team," she said. "There is no way I have made that big of a difference."
Henderson has honed her game in the eight years she has played soccer, but she still feels like she has a lot to learn.
"I need to work on my first-touch and ball-handling skills," she said. "I feel like I am an athlete playing soccer right now."
Henderson said she was surprised on how good her season has been, at least statistically.
"I had no idea that I would have this many goals," said Henderson. "I wasn't sure what my impact would be this season. It has been a pleasant surprise."
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