2009 All-Region Team

Gloria Douglas

I have to start by thanking the coaches – all 13 of them – who sent in nominations and picks for the all-region team.

The Player of the Year was a tough choice, as good cases could be made for Scotland County’s Megan Brigman, Hoke County’s Erika Dowdy or either of the two outstanding freshmen from Terry Sanford – Taylor Cavazos and Theresa O’Sullivan.

But, at the end of the day, it was Gloria Douglas of Fayetteville Academy, shown above in an awesome photo from staff photographer Andrew Craft, that got the most votes.

The coach of the year honor was a slam dunk. Todd Abbey did a remarkable job at Pinecrest this season, and since he’s been named the boys’ coach as well, I don’t see why the Patriots will miss a beat this fall. 

Here are the interviews with Douglas and her coach, Andrew McCarthy:

Douglas interview

McCarthy interview

To see the story and capsules that appeared in today’s paper, click below…

Here’s the story that ran in today’s paper:

It’s easy to get bogged down in statistics when choosing athletes and coaches for postseason honors.

The temptation is to find the most impressive numbers and start handing out awards accordingly.

But with Gloria Douglas, the junior forward at Fayetteville Academy and the 2009 Fayetteville Observer Player of the Year for girls’ soccer, her resume runs a little deeper.

“If you ask anyone at school about Gloria, a smile comes over their face,” her coach, Andrew McCarthy said. “It’s hard to put into words the value she has for the team. Not only is she a fantastic soccer player, she’s also just a fantastic kid.

“She does everything she can to make the team better. Individually, it’s not about her. It’s about everyone else.”

Douglas, the daughter of Danny and Gloria Douglas, was also quick to praise her teammates for her success this season.

“I think I’m faster without the ball, so it helps me when I can move into space where me and Joi (Chrishon) can feed off each other,” she said. “It really just kind of gels together when we’re out there.”

It came together this season for Douglas to the tune of 40 goals and 14 assists for the Eagles and her squad reached the state semifinal before falling to the eventual state champions.

Her strong play, both on the school and club level, is attracting attention of college coaches, and she counts Virginia as her college destination of choice.

But she has one more season left in high school first.

“I’m just trying to live in the moment and take it all in,” she said. “Of course, a state championship (is our goal), but it’s my senior year so I just want to take in friends and everything I’m going to miss when I go off to college.”

Pinecrest coach Todd Abbey would win the lemonade out of lemons award, if there was one on offer.

Instead, he’s the Fayetteville Observer Coach of the Year.

When Larry Martin, the coach of both the boys and girls’ programs was not retained after the boys’ season ended in the fall, the Lady Patriot coaching situation was still up in the air.

Abbey was named interim coach in early February, which didn’t leave a lot of time to prepare for the 2009 season.

“I was hired on a Thursday,” he said. “We had tryouts on that next Monday and we had four true practice days before playing four matches in six days. It was an interesting start to the season.”

After losses to Raleigh Wakefield, Terry Sanford and East Chapel Hill led to a 1-3 start, the Patriots reeled off 17 wins in their next 19 matches before losing in the third round of the State-4A Playoffs to New Hanover on penalty kicks.

Abbey attributes the success he’s had to his players.

“That was a key,” he said of shifting the focus of the players from the offseason turmoil to the season. “(We had) to make sure at the beginning of the season that they knew it was all about them and getting the girls to convince themselves that they could still play the game without all of that other stuff.

“Really, it only took about a week for all of that other stuff to go away. You’ve got to give all the credit to the girls.”

And here are the capsules:

Girls soccer all-area team

Player of the Year: Gloria Douglas, Fayetteville Academy

Coach of the Year: Todd Abbey, Pinecrest

First team

Gloria Douglas, Fayetteville Academy, Forward: Had 40 goals and 15 assists for the Eagles in her junior season. … An all-state selection by both the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association and the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association.

Megan Brigman, Scotland County, Forward: Scored 45 goals and added 14 assists. … An all-conference and all-region selection, she will be playing for North Carolina next season.

Theresa O’Sullivan, Forward, Terry Sanford: Tallied 17 goals and added 15 assists in her freshman season. … An all-conference, all-region and all-state selection by the NCSCA.

Taylor Cavazos, Forward, Terry Sanford: Scored 24 goals and had six assists in her freshman season. … The Two Rivers Conference Player of the Year and an all-region selection.

Jennifer Floyd, Forward, Gray’s Creek: Led all county public schools with 27 goals while chipping in 14 assists for the Lady Bears. … She was an all-conference selection and will be playing for Mount Olive next season.

Erika Dowdy, Forward/Midfielder, Hoke County: Scored 25 goals and added 10 assists for the Bucks. … The Mid-Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as well as an all-region pick.

Nellie Johnson, Midfielder, Fayetteville Academy: Had eight goals and 15 assists from her holding midfielder position. … Named to the all-conference, all-region and all-state teams.

Caitlin Novak, Midfielder, Jack Britt: Had 19 goals and eight assists for the Bucs. … All-conference and all-region choice.

Bailey Pages, Midfielder, Pinecrest: Tallied 19 goals and 13 assists for the Patriots. … An all-conference, all-region and all-state selection.

Lindsay Trigoboff, Midfielder, Cape Fear: Scored 18 goals and had nine assists. … An all-conference and all-region choice.

Heather Kashner, Defender, South View: Had three goals and two assists while anchoring the back line for the Tigers. … An all-conference and all-region choice.

Rebecca Dupree, Defender, Pinecrest: Scored three goals and anchored a strong defense for the Patriots. … An all-conference and all-region choice.

Jessie Pearson, Defender, Cape Fear: Had two goals and five assists for the Colts while leading their defense. … An all-conference and all-region choice.

Kate Milani, Keeper, Terry Sanford: Allowed 16 goals in 20 games and posted 11 shutouts, including nine in league play. … An all-conference and all-region selection.

Second team

Rachel Ramey, Forward, Jack Britt: Scored 18 goals to go along with eight assists for the Bucs. … An all-conference and all-region pick.

Demilla Brooks, Forward, Lumberton: Had 26 goals and four assists for the Pirates. … An all-conference and all-region selection.

April Byrd, Forward, Pine Forest: Had 11 goals and two assists for the Trojans. … An all-conference and all-region choice.

Lauren Corrigan, Forward, Pinecrest: Led the Patriots with 21 goals. … An all-conference pick.

Lyndsey Anderson, Midfielder, Pinecrest: Had 17 goals and 10 assists. … An all-conference and all-region choice.

Kate Hieronymus, Midfielder, Pinecrest: Tallied 15 goals and 10 assists in 2009. … An all-conference and all-region performer.

Maryssa Dyer, Midfielder/Forward, Village Christian: Had 16 goals and eight assists for the Knights this season en route to making the all-conference and all-state teams. … She plans to walk on at East Carolina next season.

Cassandra Serje, Midfielder, South View: Had seven goals and tied for the county public school lead with 14 assists. … An all-conference and all-region pick.

Katie Jobe, Midfielder, Lumberton: Had five goals and eight assists as a defensive midfielder. … An all-league and all-region pick. … No. 1 in her graduating class and going to Miami on an academic scholarship.

Osaro Obanor, Midfielder/Defender, Jack Britt: Had three goals and three assists as a holding midfielder for the Bucs. … An all-conference and all-region choice.

Victoria Anderson, Defender, Jack Britt: Anchoring the Britt defense while earning all-conference and all-region honors.

Taylor Bates, Defender, Hoke County: Had four goals and five assists while earning the team’s defensive player of the year award. … An all-conference and all-region selection.

Madeline Russell, Defender, Terry Sanford: Had two assists while anchoring the Bulldog defense. … An all-league and all-region pick.

Janae Aiken, Keeper, Hoke County: Posted 11 clean sheets and had a goals against average of 1.15 en route to being named the MSEC’s Keeper of the Year. … An all-conference and all-region choice.


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