AHS ‘Foo Fighters,’ Rapid Rams Collide Atop MAC in Soccer - TribPapers

AHS ‘Foo Fighters,’ Rapid Rams Collide Atop MAC in Soccer

MAC leading scorer Kate Pratt of TCR watches her shot sail into the Enka goal. Aria Giles also scored twice in the 9-0 win. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Asheville – T.C. Roberson edged Asheville 3-2 on Monday, April 29, at home to tie for the league lead with a week left in the regular season.

The winning goal was senior Sarah Freeman’s high-arcing spot kick from near midfield. She blasted it far above the goalkeeper’s reach. The Lady Rams obliged head coach Leslie Lamb Sloan’s halftime urging for midfielders to intercept Cougar forwards’ pass-backs. “They stepped up,” she said. “They got to the ball.”

AHS beat TCR 5-2 a month earlier. Roberson (11-5; 9-1) and Asheville (11-3-2; 8-1 MAC) are now league co-leaders overall and in 4A.

Leading 3A MAC teams are 3-A A.C. Reynolds (14-4; 6-3) and Enka (6-9-2; 4-5). Reynolds hosts Roberson on May 6 in a pivotal match. ACR barely fell to TCR 3-1 on April 10 and to AHS by 3-0 on March 25. Trailing are 3A North Buncombe (8-11-1; 2-6-1) and Erwin (3-9-3; 1-7), and 4A McDowell (2-10-3; 0-7-1).

The MAC’s top four played in two contests on Wednesday, April 24. Asheville shut out Reynolds 3-0 at home. Roberson blanked fourth-place Enka 9-0.

Pratt Engines

Pratt & Whitney is a famous engine maker. Roberson doesn’t have a Whitney, but has two Pratt sisters. They are Roberson’s engines. Kate Pratt, a junior, leads the league with 20 goals entering this week. She opened second-half scoring against Erwin with dazzling dribbling through three defenders, one at a time, before firing in a shot. That was her second goal of the night. Roberson led Enka 5-0 at halftime.

Her sister, senior Shayna Pratt, scored on a vicious blast for a 2-1 lead over AHS. She and freshman Aria Giles scored the first TCR goal. They both have 14 goals. They each scored twice in the first half on April 24 and in stomping McDowell 7-0. The Ram keeper is agile junior Lidia Fiore (1.15).

Terrific Tandem

Asheville breezed to 9-0 victories in four MAC contests — twice versus Erwin, including last week.

Mike Flowe coaches Asheville varsity soccer. Rather than deploy specific, detailed plays, Flowe lets play flow from players’ instincts honed in practice and game experience. “This is not a coach’s sport. It’s a player’s sport. We teach decision-making. We have a basic philosophy, and cardinal rules. We want our players to mature into playmakers.”

Asheville has a 1-2 scoring punch that produced 29 goals in the first 16 games. These two stars each generate team nicknames. Veteran playmaker Lily Foo is the team’s catalyst. Her play is why the Tribune calls the Cougars the “Foo Fighters,” after the rock band led by Dave Grohl. The senior kneed in a rebound Monday for her 16th goal.

Swift sophomore Peyton Case has 13 goals. “Case Closed” is how AHS wraps up matches on her scoring rampages, such as against Reynolds last week. Case scored two goals. She scampered to a loose ball wide left of the ACR net and drilled in a shot, for a 2-0 lead early into the second half.

Case nearly had a hat trick. Her hard shot bounced off of the sidebar out in front to senior midfielder Ashley Armstrong. Armstrong muscled through two defenders, for a shot to open scoring 11 minutes into the contest.

Coach Flowe urged his Cougars pre-game to “take it out of the air,” in promptly passing or shooting. He told the Tribune that graduation of Gracie Smith cost “physicality,” but overall these Cougars are similar to a season ago.

Freshman Cougar goalkeeper Ellie Wiegand-Reavis had a 0.99 GAA before Monday.

Asheville gets another great test at undefeated 3A West Henderson (16-0; 9-0 Mtn 7) on Friday, May 3. West got its own 9-0 win last week, against Smoky Mountain.

Reynolds goalkeeper Claire Rhoden made outstanding saves to keep ACR in the game at AHS. Ruby Jacobelly scored a three-goal “hat trick” in the Rockets’ 5-0 win over NBHS. Head coach Patrick Gladys likes the “balanced scoring.”

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 twice in beating Erwin 4-0.