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Wolfpack soccer continues stellar season
by E. Marcel Pourtout
April 09, 2014 01:15 PM | 2358 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout<br>From left, Hannah Olsen, Emily Ratke and Avery Heid at soccer practice last Wednesday in Dallas.
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout
From left, Hannah Olsen, Emily Ratke and Avery Heid at soccer practice last Wednesday in Dallas.
After claiming the region championship last season, the North Paulding girls’ soccer team has continued to build its program, posting 10 wins this season and priming itself for another run in the state playoffs later this month.

“Our players have bought into the details of the program and are organized, focusing on training,” sixth-year head coach Joel Sullivan said. “Our motto is train, compete and win.”

The Wolfpack won its last three contests over Paulding County, East Paulding and state-ranked Alexander. “Our plan every year is to have a team strong enough to have quality matches at the end of the season and we’ve reached that point,” Sullivan said.

North Paulding’s defense has been stellar, allowing less than a goal per contest and posting seven shutouts on the season.

Sullivan noted that the Wolfpack have always had a strong backline and encourages the defenders to push forward on the attack. Protecting the defenders has been senior goalkeeper Jamie Allen who has emerged from a backup the past two seasons to an elite starter.

The rest of the Wolfpack’s sturdy defensive unit includes senior captain Bailey Brown, junior Avery Heid, sophomore Deanna Beckford and Hannah Easterwood.

North Paulding’s offense, bolstered by sophomore forward Christina Campbell, has produced strong results as well, averaging more than four goals a contest.

“One of our biggest improvements has been having a good defense with our midfielders and forwards picking up the scoring, connecting at all positions,” junior midfielder Hannah Olsen said.

“We’ve done very well by working as a team and having good chemistry,” senior midfielder Emily Ratke said. Heid said she believes “we’ll make a run in the postseason and make it further this year because we’re working better together,” referring to the Wolfpack’s second round exit to Northview in last year’s state playoffs.

The team is on spring break and returns to action on April 14 against Hillgrove primed for a late-season push. “After the break, our next three games will get us refocused and bring us to a peak before the state playoffs,” Sullivan said.

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