• 57°

High school soccer: Banner season loomed for Carson girls

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

Carson girls soccer

Coach: Lauren West (6th year, 53-42-3)

Carson in the last 5 years: 53-42-3

2019 record: 13-6-1 overall, 8-2 3A North Piedmont Conference (2nd place)

2019 playoffs: Lost to Asheville 1st round

2020 record: 2-1

Seniors: Gracie Thomason, Taylor Conrad, Sydney Borst, ZaReah Smith, Kate Carter, Quinnlan Watson, Kayla DeNicholas, Areli Vargas, Martha Diaz, Lucy Cardona

 

CHINA GROVE — Carson head coach Lauren West is a history teacher, so this virus-disrupted season is going to provide instructional material for years to come.

“Everything is unprecedented,” West said. “This is history in the making, and we’re living it.”

Living it, but not necessarily loving it.

Talking about what might have been this season while she made a food pickup at Romano’s Italian Cuisine on Monday, West used the adjective “tough,” 10 times in 10 minutes to describe life without soccer.

You can’t blame her.

There was a good chance this was going to be an exceptional season for a Carson team with 10 seniors. Maybe a championship season. It was a squad that had a chance to achieve Carson’s first playoff success since 2014.

Catawba-bound senior Gracie Thomason is the leading scorer in program history with 72 goals. That’s a great person to build around.

Throw in two Conrads (Taylor and Lindsey) and three Isleys (Lani, Hannah and Riley), and the Cougars expected to be even better in 2020 than they were in 2019 when they were runner-up in the North Piedmont Conference and had an impressive 90-39 overall goal differential. In NPC matchups, Carson outscored opponents, 52-8.

The Isley sisters combined for 31 goals last season, while the Conrads were defensive anchors.

“The talk of the off-season was that it was going to be very close between us and South Iredell this year,” West said. “South Iredell has a great program and can compete with just about anyone. They did have a little bit of an upper hand when we played them last year, but we were missing key people. We had very high hopes of a conference championship this season.”

Carson received its first bad news before the season even began. Emelyn Sotelo, one of the team’s top juniors, tore an ACL playing for her club team.

West said the soccer team was just starting to mesh after adding basketball players who reached the third round in their sport.

“We only got to play three games, and I couldn’t be at one of those because I had the flu,” West said. “That’s not much of a season.”

There was disappointment in a 7-0 loss to Hickory Ridge, the eighth-ranked team in 4A, but Carson had scored 10 goals in its early wins against Davie County and A.L. Brown. Thomason, a Catawba signee, piled up six goals and three assists. Hannah Isley, Lani Isley, Sydney Borst and Kate Carter scored goals.

“Gracie Thomason was dominating, playing great,” West said. “Once she signed with Catawba, that was a huge weight off her back.”

West misses working with Carson’s experienced players, but she’s also missing practicing with the new ones. Borst, who scored 14 goals for the Cougars in 2019, has twin sisters, Hayley and Makayla, in Carson’s freshman class.

“The plan was for those two to play in jayvee games if our opponent had a jayvee team, but to play on varsity if they didn’t,” West said. “Our future looks pretty good.”

But the present looked even better. Now the present is on hold, and time is not on the side of the Class of 2020.

“It’s tough, it’s just really tough,” West said. “I know our girls are still working out. I think they’d play all summer just to have some kind of season.”

Comments

Gold Hill

Planning Board considers controversial Gold Hill solar project

High School

High school baseball: South’s Kepley commits to Liberty

Education

RSS Board of Education appoints Marsh to fill vacant seat

Local

Insurance commissioner presents checks to Rowan County volunteer fire departments

Local

October issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

News

Novant Health fires more than 175 for not getting vaccinated

News

Cooper vetoes GOP bill that sought to weaken AG’s powers

Nation/World

GOP blocks bill to keep government going; new try ahead

Nation/World

California to mail every voter a ballot in future elections

Nation/World

Hospitals fear staffing shortages as vaccine deadlines loom

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools extends mask mandate through Oct. 25

Coronavirus

State data show majority of Rowan County residents vaccinated against COVID-19

Crime

Salisbury Police confirm seized rifle was used in 7-year-old A’yanna Allen’s murder

Ask Us

Ask Us: How will city of Salisbury spend American Rescue Plan funds?

Nation/World

Pelosi vows to pass $1T bill, move ahead on larger measure

Nation/World

Investigators probe deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with statutory rape, indecent liberties, child abuse

Local

Day Out With Thomas returns to Transportation Museum

Local

Crowd converges on Salisbury for state pickleball tournament

News

After another court ruling against it, what’s next for voter ID in NC?

Local

Rowan County Fair back in full force with rides, livestock, vendors

Coronavirus

With COVID statistics still concerning, local health experts weigh in on the safety of gatherings

Business

Couple hopes to create a unique destination with nostalgic arcade, upscale cocktail bar

Books

Rowan Public Library offers online resources for skill building