Four Squads Emerge Atop MAC in Soccer - TribPapers

Four Squads Emerge Atop MAC in Soccer

Ruby Jacobelly (4) is about to kick in one of her three goals for ACR on April 17. Julianna Gonzalez (7) later scored. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Fairview – The Mountain Athletic Conference standings are clustered, with four frontrunners in strong position to make playoffs.

The league’s top two are 4A Asheville (9-2-2; 6-0 MAC) and T.C. Roberson (8-5; 6-1). Next are 3-A A.C. Reynolds (13-3; 5-2), and Enka (5-7; 4-3). Trailing are North Buncombe (8-10; 2-5) and Erwin (3-8-3; 1-6), also 3A, and 4A McDowell (2-10-2; 0-7).

Lady Hawk goalkeeper Amelia Smith deflects a shot. Photo by Pete Zamplas.
Lady Hawk goalkeeper Amelia Smith deflects a shot. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Roberson hosts Asheville on Monday, April 29 at 6:45 p.m. in a showdown for the league lead. AHS won their first match, by 5-2 at home on March 27. Reynolds played at AHS on April 24, and hosts Roberson on May 6. ACR fell to TCR 3-1 on April 10 and to AHS by 3-0 on March 25.

Owen (4-4-2; 3-2-2) is third in the 2A/1A Western Highlands. Warlassy senior Abby Reitzel scored four goals in an 8-0 win over Mitchell. Unbeaten league leader Madison (10-0-1; 6-0-1) is also in 2A. The N.C. School of Math and Sciences (8-3-1; 7-1) in Morganton is now in the WHC, in second place. Trei Morrison coaches Owen soccer, which won the 2A state boys title two seasons ago.

Coach Mike Flowe’s Asheville Cougars won 2-0 at Enka on April 15. The “Foo Fighters” front-person struck gold. Leading scorer Lily Foo dribbled in and lofted a soft left-footed shot over the keeper for the first score. This was her 12th goal in 12 games. Caroline Dews drilled a 25-yarder in for the other goal.

Freshman Ellie Wiegand-Reavis (1.18) is handling most of the net chores for AHS, with junior Siena Gentry also seeing duty.

Roberson, coached by Leslie Sloan, features the conference’s leading goal scorer in junior Kate Pratt (17 goals). Senior Lucy Sloan and freshman Aria Giles scored twice in TCR’s 7-0 whitewash of McDowell. The Ram keeper is junior Lidia Fiore (1.47).

Jacobelly ‘Hatter’

Reynolds’ Ruby Jacobelly scored a three-goal “hat trick” in a 5-0 home win over NBHS. The junior opened scoring 2:20 into the match. She kicked in a rebound of junior track and soccer star Evva Hamilton’s shot, which went through the goalkeeper’s bobbling hands. Faster than you can say “Jacobelly,” Ruby’s shot from the right side made it 3-0 merely seven minutes into the match. That was the halftime score.

In between Jacobelly’s first two goals, sophomore Rell Bound headed in a rebound shot off of Sophia Olinger’s corner kick to right in front of the goal. “We talked about crashing the net and pouncing on rebounds,” ACR head soccer coach Patrick Gladys said. “The girls executed it perfectly.”

Jacobelly and freshman Julianna Gonzales scored in the second half. “We are a very young group, with lots of balanced scoring,” Gladys said. Gonzalez and Opal Redmond each scored twice in ACR’s 7-0 stomping of McDowell.

“Our goalkeeper Claire Rhoden (0.78 GAA) is a great shot stopper,” Glady said. The junior “has some of the best foot skills of any keeper we have had. That makes her an asset in our possession-based attack, which we have been improving on all year.”

As for Rocket intangibles, Coach Gladys cites “amazing chemistry. Each girl supports one another 100 percent. Opal Redmond and Sophia Olinger are among our leaders, who have been through the battles over the past couple of seasons.”

Jane Cannon coaches Enka, which is led by sophomore goalkeeper Sara Thingvoll (1.17 GAA), junior striker Mckayla Cox, and senior S.K. Whittemore who scored two goals (a “brace”) in beating Erwin 4-0.

Wil Maney is the NBHS head coach, with junior Amelia Smith (2.8) tending goal. Sophomore Eliza Jackson scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Erwin. She leads the Hawks with 11 goals, tied for third most among MAC players.

Leading goal scorers from MAC teams are Roberson’s Kate Pratt (17), Asheville’s Foo (12) and Peyton Case (11), Aria Giles (11) of TCR, Jackson (11) of NBHS, ACR’s Jacobelly and Gonzalez with nine each, Shayne Pratt (8) of TCR, and Christina Diavatis (7) of ACR. Reynolds’ Katelynn Ciolek, Roberson’s Sarah Freeman and McDowell’s Yamilet Otero each have scored six goals heading into this week.