If you’re looking for the top threats on the roster from Goldsboro’s girls soccer team, stop. They come from everywhere. It beats the alternative from previous years, when the program was no threat at all.
Home matches were played in tall grass because no one associated with the school was scheduled to mow it. In other years there was no team and no games because of a lack of interest and funds.
Then the Wayne School of Engineering, which also holds classes on Goldsboro’s campus, helped revive interest and infuse the Cougars with skill, numbers and talent. And while they’re playing with old equipment, Goldsboro coach Chad Lewis realizes that being able to play at all is an accomplishment in and of itself.
It’s why a 5-1 loss to Eastern Wayne, the Cougars’ first of the season, is nothing to be too upset over, relatively speaking. It’s why Lewis won’t get too worked up over receiving a yellow card in Monday’s match because a player who had just substituted in was still wearing her earrings.
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“They’re at a level this year where we were at the end of last year,” Lewis said. “They keep progressing more and more as players and as a team, really.”
Lewis is in his second season with the program. It is in its fifth season back from dormancy.
The steps have been painful, starting with a winless first season back and two wins the second season. Last season, the Cougars finished 11-5-2 and 6-2 in the conference, bowing to Midway 4-0 in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A playoffs.
Goldsboro is 7-1-3 heading into Eastern Carolina 2A Conference play.
One of the keys has been that players are less prone to draw a line between the players coming from Goldsboro High and the ones coming from the Wayne School of Engineering.
“Meshing the two schools is a work in progress,” Lewis said. “The players from Goldsboro and the players from Wayne Engineering last year sometimes would have issues. ... This year, they’re really good friends now. We’ve had no issues with that. We’ve grown as a team in a big way in that aspect. They’re becoming a selfless team, which is bigger than the game.”
It’s no coincidence that most of the roster is especially young. Seven players have at least three goals with no player having more than seven: seniors Juanita Cortes-Torres and Angelina Nacca, junior Taironnicia Davis and sophomores Hannah Williamson, Doctor Shakia, Makayla Roberts and T’Ziah Kelly.
The next steps for the program would be players playing more outside of the high school season.
But they’re playing now, they’re improving and they get along. That’s progress at Goldsboro.