As I write this column, Greenbrier High School's girls soccer team is getting ready to battle East Coweta in Round 2 of the state playoffs.
The Lady Wolfpack took care of business in the first round, dispatching Colquitt County 3-1. The victory improved their record to 12-4-1 and has them poised to make their fourth appearance in the Elite 8 in the past seven seasons.
One of the staples of this year's squad is balance, and that was on full display in its opening-round win as three different players scored goals. Stormi Childs, Hillary Wilson and freshman Bay Daniel each put the ball in the net. Brittaney Borror notched an assist, as did junior standout Alex Cohen.
Cohen, by the way, now stands just one assist shy of breaking the school's career mark held by Stephanie Fransoso, who now plays at Auburn. This season, Cohen leads the team in assists with 14 and goals with 22, including a school-record eight in one game. She already is sixth on the school's all-time goals list.
Childs also has posted solid numbers. She has managed 16 goals and nine assists. She already has signed to play at West Georgia next season. Joining Childs in playing at the next level is senior Jesse Lewis, who will play at Coastal Carolina.
To further illustrate the team's balance, 14 different players have at least eight goals this season. Head coach Alex Heider says this is a complete team effort.
"We have a great group of girls. I just cannot say enough about the leadership we get from the upperclassmen," Heider said.
Sometimes even highly successful coaches labor in obscurity, but that does not mean they do not deserve some recognition. Heider, now in his 12th season, has a career record that is hard to ignore. His teams are 158-58 since he took over the program in 1998. They also have six region titles, including each of the past three seasons.
This year's team has been dominant at times. Nineteen different 'Pack players have scored en route to 94 goals scored as a team and they've allowed just 16. That's right -- 16 goals allowed all season . That is thanks, in large part, to the stellar play of goalie Paige Eber and her backup Kaitlin Michals. Eber has stopped 52 of 65 shots on goal this season, while Michals has kept six of nine shots out of the net.
The 'Pack have never made it to a Final Four, but maybe this is the year.
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