Area Girls' Soccer Player of the Year: Cara Spry's move to defense powers Currituck to playoffs + All-Area Team
By Malcolm Shields
Monday, June 24, 2019
BARCO — For most soccer players, surrendering the opportunity to score goals to defend might be a tough request to accept.
That wasn't the case for Currituck's Cara Spry.
During her first two seasons of high school varsity soccer, Spry was a dynamic goal scorer for the Lady Knights girls' soccer team.
This spring, Spry, a junior, was asked to drop back as a center defender for the best of the team.
Not only did she excel, her willingness to play defense helped Currituck earn another trip to the state playoffs.
Her influence on the field made Spry the selection as the Daily Advance Area Player of the Year for the 2019 girls' soccer season.
According to Currituck coach Madison Phillips, Spry was vital to Currituck's 15 shutouts this season.
Offensively, Spry scored 17 goals and added nine assists.
Spry was grateful to be selected as the Area Player of the Year.
As for the transition from a striker to a defender, it was natural for Spry.
“For my travel team, Beach FC, I do play center back. So it wasn't a hard transition,” she said.
Although she noted it was nice the previous years being a scorer for Currituck, Spry acknowledged that this season, Currituck did not need her to score.
Along with being more defensive minded for the Knights this season, she was also more of a leader.
“In the back, I am able to see the field the most, other than the keeper,” Spry said. “It helps the team in general for me to direct them in the back.”
Her experience playing youth soccer with the then Currituck United soccer program was the roots of her passion for soccer.
While playing for Currituck United, she played on co-ed teams.
Spry noted that it was fun playing alongside her guy and girl friends.
Phillips, who also coached Spry when she played youth soccer, noted early on, Spry put in the work and was dedicated to soccer.
The coach noted that even the boys she faced on opposing teams didn't want to face Spry.
“She was a dominate player,” Phillips said.
One of the moments Spry enjoyed about this season was witnessing her teammates step up and do their best.
Phillips credited Spry for having a positive attitude, even in tough matches against conference rival First Flight.
“She sets the example, not just with her technical ability, but also with her character, her attitude and the way she plays the game,” he said. “She gives 100 % and never gives up.”
Spry noted that she would like to play soccer at the college level, but it has to be the right fit for her academically also.
With the balancing act of high school soccer season in the spring and travel soccer in the fall during the year, Spry makes it a priority to complete her school work.
Currituck (15-6) finished the season as the runner-up in the Northeastern Coastal Conference and won its North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 2A first-round state playoff game against N.C. School of Science and Math 4-0 at Currituck on May 7 to advance to the second round.
Haley Loyd, Camden, CD/M, Sr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection, team captain, played goalkeeper, center defender and midfield this season.
Kylie Maxon, Camden, F/M, So.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection, led the team in assists and second in scoring.
Virginia Sellers, Camden, F/M, Jr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection, led the team in scoring as a midfielder and striker.
Annie Ammons, Currituck, F, Sr.: The Mary Baldwin signee scored 43 goals with four assists.
Kendal Cahill, Currituck, D, Sr.: Played center back and defensive mid for the Knights. The Methodist University signee scored seven goals with three assists.
Sydney Cowan, Currituck, M/D, Sr.: Another solid defender for the Knights who scored 17 goals with eight assists.
Cara Spry, Currituck, D/M/F, Jr.: Area Player of the Year.
Anna Bass, John A. Holmes, GK, Sr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection, North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Region 3 Class 1A public schools all-region team selection as a goalkeeper, played 1,382 minutes, made 209 saves, made 11 saves per match and recorded eight shutouts.
Jessica Copeland, John A. Holmes, M, Sr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection, North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Region 3 Class 1A public schools all-region team selection as a midfielder, North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Region 3 Class 1A public schools all-state team selection as a midfielder, scored 18 goals with 13 assists in 18 matches for 49 points, was the conference leader in points and assists, tied for second in the conference in goals, an NCHSAA Scholar Athlete.
Malorie Gonzalez, John A. Holmes, CMF, Sr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection, North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Region 3 Class 1A public schools all-region team selection as a midfielder, scored 18 goals with nine assists for 45 points on the season, conference leader in goals per game, second in the conference in points, goals and assists, NCHSAA Scholar athlete.
Ellie Hornthal, Northeastern, CD, So.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection, tied for the most goals on the team, named team defensive most valuable player.
Olivia Sanders, Northeastern, M, Jr.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection, tied for the most goals on the team, led the team in assists and shots on goal, named team offensive most valuable player.
Sophie Clarkson, Pasquotank, LM, So.: Scored 16 goals with eight assists on the season.
Elisa Reed, Pasquotank, F, Sr.: Scored 14 goals with five assists.
Piper Werts, Pasquotank, GK, Sr.: Recorded seven shutouts on the season.
Honorable mention: Camden — Megan Bonilla, Desiree Brown, Anna Mattix, Mackensi Rollings; Currituck — Olivia Cason, Jasmine Gorney, Ryleigh Hammock, Maddie Hibbs, Samantha Phillips; John A. Holmes — Alyssa Goodwin, Jamie Hamm, Elizabeth Manning, Amy Turner; Northeastern — Sydney Miller, Lizbeth Rodriguez Roman, Vanessa Santos, Madeline Twiford; Pasquotank — Marrisa Harris, Mia Jernigan, Alex Quintero, Karima Quintero, Mikayla Quintero, Madeline Stephans; Perquimans — Taylor Garcia, Karen Ocampo, Kelsey Perry, Sandra Rennie, Lauren Winslow.