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High Country Soccer Teams Achieve Unprecedented Success

HCSA U18 Girls Head Coach Ben Birdsong giving instruction. (Photo courtesy of High Country Soccer Association)

It has been a banner season for High Country Soccer Association. With the 2018 North Carolina Youth Soccer Association (NCYSA) fall season wrapped up, HCSA finished with three teams that earned first place in their respected divisions.

The U11 Girls finished with a 9-1 league record earning the top spot in their division. The squad found the net an impressive 49 times while only surrendering 3 goals.

The U14 Gold Boys went through the fall season undefeated. Through 9 league games, the squad scored 48 times while giving up just 10 goals. Their showing not only clinched first place, but also earned a promotion to 1st division for the spring season.

The highlight of the fall season belongs to the U18 Girls team. Already competing in 1st division, the team clinchedfirst place in their final league season game in dramatic fashion by tying the second place team, Wesley Chapel-Weddington Athletic Association. Their successfulseason not only was the first HCSA team to solely claim the top spot in 1stdivision, but it also awarded them a #1 seed in the west bracket of the NCYSA Kepner President’s State Cup. The team swept all three opening matches to advance to the Finals where they fell to eventual champions Fayetteville Soccer Club.

“This team is a great representation of the talent in the high country,” says Ben Birdsong, head coach and HCSA interim Director of Coaching. “Pulling players from different counties and high schools has produced a group that has achieved a lot thisfall. The girls have continuously improved over the course of the season.” 

Led by seven high school senior girls, the team also consists of eleven juniors and three sophomores from Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, and Watauga Counties. On the roster is Abigail Amato, Lillian Amato, JerneeAshley, Ella Brown, Emma Calloway, Rachel Easton, Lindsey Fletcher, Sadye Franklin, Josephine Hill, Katherine Horne, Sarah Jobe, Abigail Kamp, Lillian Kamp, Paxton Pruess, Emma Schneider, Shaelyn Sheaff, Mary Louise Sprague, Phoebe Stanislaw, Anderson Waugh, Bailey Whitehead-Price, and Maggie Willis .

HCSA Records and Final League Standings for the 2018 NCYSA Fall Season
U11 Boys Navy: 6-2, 2nd

U11 Boys Red: 1-6-1, 9th

U11 Girls: 9-1, 1st

U12 Boys Navy: 3-3, 3rd

U12 Boys Red: 4–3-1, 3rd

U12 Girls: 6-2-2, 2nd

U13 Boys: 3-7, 7th

U13 Girls: 2-1, 3rd

U14 Boys Gold: 9-0, 1st

U14 Boys Black: 3-3-2, 6th

U14 Girls: 7-2-1, 3rd

U15 Girls: 4-4, 5th

U18 Girls: 6-1-1, 1st

High Country Soccer Association, which opened in 1986, offers professional soccer training to youth ranging from U6 to U18 and competes in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association. HCSAalso operates winter and spring training and the local adult leagues. In all, HCSA has more than 600 youth players and more than 300 adult players from five different counties.