South’s Lauderman named to first team all-state for AAA
BECKLEY — What determines a great high school soccer player?
Plenty of goals and assists?
Smart, confident play?
Rising to the occasion, such as scoring all three goals in the state tournament to help her team win the state title?
Emilie Charles has them all covered.
The forward scored a state-best 49 goals and had 16 assists in leading Cabell Midland to a 16-5-1 record going into the Class AAA state tournament earlier this month in Beckley.
Charles found the back of the net both times in a 2-0 win over Greenbrier East in the semifinals, then had the deciding goal in a 1-0 victory over University for the Knights’ first state championship.
She earns the captaincy of the AAA all-state first team, as named by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Charles’ confident play on the pitch belies the fact she’s only a sophomore.
“I don’t know what Emilie will do to top this year, but I can’t wait to see what she does,” Knights coach Andy Wilson said.
She drew constant, often multiple coverage by opponents, usually to no avail.
“When we played Ripley, a real good defensive team, they had four people — their whole defensive line — chasing her,” Wilson said. “She still scored three goals and had an assist.”
Charles excelled as a freshman, earning first-team all-state honors, and has continued to grow, both physically and in ability.
“Last year Emilie was kind of skinny and thin. This year she’s grown and got stronger and faster,” Wilson said. She’s a sprinter on the track team. She’s just a handful.”
Charles wasn’t the only high scoring forward on the first team. Princeton senior Brittany Dye had 46 goals, while Wheeling Park senior forward Lauren Schultz, a Memphis signee, had 27 along with 12 assists.
Greenbrier East sophomore Kate Perkins scored 20 goals and takes the final striker spot.
First-team midfielders include Woodrow Wilson sophomore Hattie Hall, who rang up 26 goals; Preston junior Olivia Liston, who had 21 goals; University senior Braden Pickett with 16 goals and Wheeling Park senior Jada Taylor with 11 goals and nine assists.
Defenders include juniors Abby Long from Cabell Midland and Riley Lohan from George Washington, and seniors Leah Marsh from University and Greenbrier East’s Carley Midkiff, a three-year starter at midfield who moved to the back line this season.
Utility spots were grabbed by Parkersburg South senior Alyana Lauderman, who scored 21 goals, and Hedgesville sophomore Tal Rappolo.
Ripley junior Taylor Kennedy and Greenbrier East sophomore Mallory Alderman round out the first team as goalkeepers.
Ari Christiansen, a junior forward who scored 18 goals and helped runner-up University compile a 17-2-5 mark, captains the second team.
She’s joined at striker by Olivia Gandy from Ripley, Hunter Taylor from Hedgesville and South Charleston’s Magge Britt, who scored 26 goals as a freshman.
Midfielders are Hampshire’s Morgan Pyles (24 goals), Parkersburg South’s Audrie Leasure, Greenbrier East’s Abbie Bartenslager and Riverside’s Hayden Bare.
Princeton’s Abigail Billings, Capital’s Katy O’Reilly, Hurricane’s Jayla Antol and Cabell Midland’s Maddie Blevens are the defenders.
George Washington’s Katy Darnell and Wheeling Park’s Morgan Glass hold down the utility spots. University’s Maya Shetty and Hedgesville’s Emily Bethel are the goalkeepers.