Last Saturday was a big day for several Columbia County soccer players. The start to the 2007 college soccer season has been kind to several of our former high school standouts.
Augusta Prep has seven alumni on college rosters. Leading the way was 2006 graduate Monica Ploetzke, who saw barely any time on the field as a walk-on at Wofford last year. This season, she has already racked up two game-winning goals for the Lady Terriers. In the first two games this year, she's tallied three goals and an assist.
Joey Ralph, a 2005 graduate of Evans High School, is the starting goalkeeper at Georgia Southern. He was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Second Annual Broyhill Inn and Conference Center Appalachian Classic last weekend.
Former Greenbrier star Stephanie Fransoso is wasing no time in her sophomore season. The 2005 Augusta Chronicle girls soccer player of the year scored a goal in each of the first two games for the Auburn Tigers earlier last month.
She scored in a 2-1 win over Memphis in the season opener. A week later, Fransoso found the back of the net on a header, in a 6-0 home win over Jacksonville State.
How did she celebrate? She jumped on a plane with her teammates and flew to Hawaii for a two-game road trip in the tropics.
The 2007 Augusta Chronicle boys soccer player of the year has also jumped out to a terrific start in his college debut. Greenbrier graduate Brooks Duff, now a starter at Furman, leads the team with five points in two games. He's tallied two goals and an assist for the Paladins, who are ranked No. 4 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America South Region poll.
The transition from Georgia high school soccer in the spring to college soccer in the fall is difficult for some athletes, but these local stars seem to be shining as bright as ever.
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