Ponte Vedra High School’s loss is Middle Creek’s gain.
Delaney Borror, a talented midfielder who has committed to Columbus State, transferred from Ponte Vedra (Fla.) last year and immediately upgraded the Mustangs’ girls’ soccer team.
The senior’s influence was evident in a 4-1 win over Clayton on a chilly Thursday night, as she scored two goals and assisted on another.
“She has brought experience and a lot of composure and ability to our midfield,” Middle Creek coach Kevin Ebner said. “That has affected the rest of our forwards and midfielders, in terms of getting involved in the attack, becoming more creative and being able to posses the ball and create more opportunities for us.”
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Borror was a key player for a powerhouse Ponte Vedra team, and the transition to a new school and a new team has been smooth. She’s one of four seniors on an emerging Mustang squad that is off to a 3-1 start and could be a surprise in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference.
“They’ve been really welcoming,” Borror said as her teammates yelled her name in the background. “It’s been easy to fit in here. They’ve had a hard couple of years, so it’s been fun. They’ve been nice and welcoming to new people.
“I think this is our year. I think we have good team chemistry, which we haven’t had the past couple years. I think we can go far this year because everyone works together. I think we have a good chance of making the playoffs.”
Borror opened the scoring in the 19th minute by taking a long pass from Hailey Meyer and putting in the net. Three minutes later, Ally Elliott booted a 25-yard shot in goal for a 2-0 lead. Then, Borror made a great feed to Maggie Banks for a 3-0 Mustang lead in the 23rd minute.
Borror’s second goal came in the second half when she chipped in a pass from Elliott.
“So far, the girls are off to a good start,” Ebner said. “A lot of it has to do with their chemistry. And the combination of girls is something we’re awfully excited about. It’s been evident early on that they’re meshing well together, and their talents are being showcased. We’ve been able to score a lot, we’ve been able to put teams under pressure. Things we haven’t been able to do in the past are strengths so far this year.”
Goalkeeping was a strength Thursday, as backup keeper Caroline Lauer was terrific. Her three diving, sprawling saves kept Clayton from making a game of it.
“There is no one happier than me for how she performed tonight,” Ebner said. “She stepped up, and her teammates quickly saw that she bailed us out. It could’ve been a different game if she didn’t make some of those big saves. Because of that, we were able to keep the momentum on our side and in the end get a good win.”
Clayton coach William Williams saw plenty of good things out of his Comets (2-1) in their home opener. Junior Lauren Daniels is a talented forward who scored the lone Clayton goal after a nifty move on the wing in the second half, while freshman Emery Biggs was solid in the midfield.
“I learned a lot of good stuff,” Williams said. “We’ve got a very young team, but I saw some really good stuff tonight. I told them that the mistakes we made that gave up goals are things we can fix. The talent is there; we’ve got to work together to get to play together. I know we can do that.”
Clayton’s forwards showed a lot of speed, often out-running Middle Creek defenders to passes down the sidelines. But finishing was an issue – thanks in part to Lauer’s terrific night in goal.
“Sometimes I think we’re looking for the perfect spot,” Williams said. “I tell them, ‘Trust your instincts; I do.’ When you take too much time to think, it’s too late. The biggest thing at varsity level in high school is the speed. You’ve got to be fast and make good decisions quick. We have a lot of potential. I’m very excited for them.
“I’m never happy with a loss. But we learned a lot tonight, and we’re getting better.”