The East Wake Academy girls soccer seasons used to come and go. Now players are sticking around from playing together in middle school through their high school seasons.
That’s how East Wake Academy coach Michael Sloop explains what is now easily the best season in seven-year history of the girls program. The Eagles (14-7-1) are in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A girls soccer playoffs and will visit conference foe Woods Charter on Wednesday.
“I’ve got a lot of girls that have been playing together for a long time,” Sloop said. “They’re coming through our middle school, and they’re playing the game year-round. They’re really taking soccer seriously.”
This is Sloop’s fifth year of taking over the as the girls coach; he also serves as the boys head coach.
The nucleus of this year’s team is formed by 10 juniors, with seven of them starters. Two of the team leaders are junior defender Grace Page and junior midfielder Olivia Whitley.
“We have a lot of chemistry on this team,” Page. “We’re playing together as a team. Last year we had players trying to do it alone. We’re using everyone.”
But it’s also a team playing with more skill, and the result is more offensive firepower.
“We have a lot more goal scorers than we’ve had in the past,” Whitley said. “We really work well together. We’ve scored the most goals this year in school history.”