When you talk about the great athletes to hail from Columbia County, names such as Lenny Springs, James Shanks and Todd Greene are a few that likely would come up. There are probably a couple dozen more names that might be mentioned before Stephanie Fransoso.
Fransoso has a few accomplishments that make her worthy of mention. The former Greenbrier High School soccer star dominated the county during her prep career from 2003 to 2006. The numbers are amazing.
Here are a few of her high school accomplishments:
- She led Greenbrier to a 59-16-6 mark in her four years.
- She led the Wolfpack to two region titles and three Elite 8 appearances.
- Her team was ranked no worse than seventh in the state all four seasons.
- She is the school's all-time leader in goals (113) and assists (41). (Barring injury, senior Alex Cohen will pass her on the assists charts this season.)
- Her 113 goals scored is 50 more than any other Greenbrier player, even though the school has had 18 college signees in the past 12 years.
- She has the top three single-season goals scored marks (34 in 2005, 28 in 2006, and 27 in 2004).
- Her lowest scoring season (24 goals as a freshman in 2003) is still sixth on the all-time single-season list.
- She was the 2005 Player of the Year for both The Columbia County News-Times and The Augusta Chronicle .
Because of these amazing accomplishments, it was no surprise Fransoso signed to play major college soccer. She chose to play in the Southeastern Conference at Auburn, joining a very exclusive list of athletes from the county to play in the SEC.
Fransoso's career started slowly at Auburn, but she did earn six starts in her freshman campaign. Then in 2007, she enjoyed a terrific sophomore season. She played in 20 games, making seven starts. She finished second on the team with 41 shots on goal and showed an ability to come through in the clutch.
Her first career goal was a game-winner against Louisiana Lafayette, and she netted the game-winner in her first game against LSU. At the end of the season, she was voted the team's most improved player.
As a junior, Fransoso continued to play a key role for the Tigers. She appeared in 23 games, starting six, and finished third on the team in goals (four) and fifth in points (11). She had her first multigoal match that season, notching a pair against Grambling. She also earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Understandably, Fransoso had high expectations this fall, and the season started well. She was among the team leaders in minutes played, goals, assists and shots on goal before she suffered a knee injury midway through the season.
The injury limited Fransoso to just 12 games as a senior. She got the start in 10 of her 12 appearances, and despite missing nearly half the season, she still managed to finish fifth on the team in assists and had a game-winning goal.
It was certainly not the way Fransoso wanted to go out, but she should hold her head high. During her four seasons at Auburn, she helped lead the Tigers to 43 wins and two SEC West Division crowns. She was also a key factor in the Tigers earning four consecutive NCAA berths.
Congrats to Stephanie on a solid collegiate career. And when the talk of the top athletes in the county comes up, don't forget about Fransoso.
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