04/15/2024
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TABOR CITY – Eight Bladen players – including 5 from league champion East Bladen – have been selected to the All-Three Rivers Conference girls’ soccer team. East Bladen’s Maya McDonald was named the league’s Player of the Year, and the Lady Eagles Jay Raynor was chosen TRC Coach of the Year.

Joining McDonald on the All-TRC squad are East Bladen’s Katie Evans, Sara Gargala, Acee Campbell and Cydney Campbell and West Bladen’s Lainey Autry, Eliana Padilla and Makayla Wright.

Maya McDonald (17), East Bladen

McDonald poured in 57 goals and has scored more goals (98) than any other Eagle soccer player, male or female. The speedy junior was a ‘Hat Trick’ machine and twice scored 7 goals in a game – another East Bladen record that also tied the 13th most in NCHSAA history. McDonald was 2nd on the team with 11 assists and finished with 186 steals.

Under Raynor’s direction the Lady Eagles rolled through the Three Rivers with a perfect 6-0 record and carried a perfect 14-0 record into their Eastern Class 2A Regional Semi-Final meeting with Carrboro.

Katie Evans, East Bladen

Katie Evans, a senior midfielder, led the Lady Eagles in assists (23) and steals (337). She also fired in 18 goals in 15 games. “She is our engine and we feed off of her energy,” said Raynor.

Sara Gargala, East Bladen

Gargala, a senior midfielder, racked up 334 steals. “Sara played some of the best soccer I have ever seen her play,” said Raynor. “She was our pivot and everything built around her position. Her leadership helped grow our underclassmen.”

Cydney Campbell, East Bladen

Sophomore Acee Campbell tallied 5 goals, 6 assists and 261 steals, and sophomore Cydney Campbell contributed 3 goals and 243 steals. “Cydney and Acee were up and down the sidelines and played extremely well in the flanks for us,” noted Raynor. “They did a great job of putting themselves in positions to make plays and score.’

Lainey Autry (13), West Bladen

Sophomore Lainey Autry fired in a team high 11 goals including a ‘Hat Trick’ plus one of 4 goals in a victory over West Columbus. She also dished out 3 assists for the Lady Knights.

Eliana Padilla (8), West Bladen

Freshman Eliana Padilla totaled 5 goals and 3 assists for the Lady Knights, and sophomore Makayla Wright contributed 4 goals and 2 assists to the Lady Knight attack.

Makayla Wright (10), West Bladen

“Lainey and Makayla are athletes. They excel, whether its on the courts or the pitch,” said West Bladen Coach Kristen Parker. “Eliana is young with a lot of potential and room to grow. I’m looking forward to seeing this young team grow together.”

Receiving Honorable Mention from East Bladen were: freshman Molly Evans (3 goals, 4 assists, 207 steals); freshman Reese Hester (1 assist 215 steals); senior goalie Lily Lin (59 saves, 9 shutouts); junior Merritt Martin (139 steals); senior Joesphina Torres (9 goals, 3 assists, 192 steals); freshman Zoe Smith (2 assists, 223 steals).

West Bladen players receiving Honorable Mention were: junior Hannah Hester (3 goals, 1 assist); sophomore Mauri Flores (2 goals); sophomore Kaden Thurman (1 goal, 2 assists); sophomore goalie Tazshea Greene (42 saves, 4 shutouts).

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