Players of the Week: Shore carries Eagles to title
Published: Monday, January 21, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 9:02 p.m.
It's not very often a defender draws so much attention with the ball in their hands.
Unless you're Emily Shore.
For the Oak Hall senior sweeper, drawing a posse of defenders every time the ball is in front of her is nothing new. So this week, when St. Francis was sending up to seven players at her to deny penetration, it never fazed her. As a result, she scored all three of the Eagles' goals in a double-overtime 3-2 win that gave them the District 4-2A title.
"(St. Francis) decided they were going to mark her whenever she stepped into the offensive side," said Gigi Roark, who took over for Oak Hall head coach Basil Benjamin this week while he was coaching the boys. "It's not very often a sweeper scores as much as she does because most teams don't send sweepers out as far as us.
"But that's a credit to her because she recognizes when her aggressiveness is needed."
Shore, who also scored three goals in a 9-0 win over Florida School for the Deaf on Tuesday, tied the game in the 64th minute after receiving a pass from Andrea Morris, weaving through four defenders and shooting a low kick below the goalie's reach.
After her penalty kick in the 68th minute gave Oak Hall a 2-1 lead, Shore came through in the 102nd minute of double overtime. The sweeper caught a pass from senior Sarah Fagler, then once again dribbled through a crowd of defenders and found some light to seal the win.
"It was a good week," Shore said. "They really landmarked me, but my teammates helped me out a lot."
Now, Shore will look toward trying to get her team past the regional finals for the first time in her high school career.
But it won't be easy.
If the Eagles (14-6-2) get by visiting Providence on Thursday, they'll likely have to face St. Johns Country Day — a team that has won two of the last three Class 2A titles and has given Oak Hall fits ever since Shore was a freshman.
"It would be very difficult to beat St. Johns," Shore said. "But anything can happen in soccer."
XAVIER WOODS, NEWBERRY — Woods, a senior, averaged 27 points and 13 rebounds as the Panthers (9-7) went 2-1 last week. Newberry's 6-foot-1 forward had 30 points and 14 rebounds in a win against Fort White on Tuesday, 24 points and 10 rebounds in a win against Santa Fe on Wednesday and 27 points, 15 rebounds in a loss to undefeated Lecanto.
GENE RODRICK, OAK HALL — The Eagles' junior sweeper scored what proved to be the game-winning goal against Providence on Thursday. Rodrick scored with a header off a corner kick in the 15th minute that put Oak Hall (13-7-1) up 1-0, and the Eagles cruised from there to a 2-0 victory.
HANNAH KURDILA, GAINESVILLE — Kurdila was involved in every score during the Hurricanes' District 4-5A-clinching win against Eastside on Friday, contributing one goal and one assist in the 2-1 victory. Kurdila had a goal off a 19-yard free kick in the 60th minute to tie the game. Then, in the 78th minute, she served it up to Emily Dowd, who scored her area-best 162nd career goal for the win.
Dennis Mavin, Eastside — The Rams' sophomore point guard played beyond his years Friday, as he led Eastside to a big 62-55 win against Gainesville at Santa Fe Community College. Mavin recorded game highs with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The win created a three-way tie between the Rams, Gainesville and Columbia at the top of District 4-5A.
Kelli McCrery and Mariel Mena, P.K. Yonge — The two seniors each scored three goals in the Blue Wave's dismantling of Fort White, 6-0, on Thursday. The win gave P.K. Yonge (13-6-1) its third straight district title. The Blue Wave will now host Jacksonville Episcopal (13-7) in the Region 1-3A quarterfinals on Thursday.
Sarah Fagler and Colleen Ugliano, Oak Hall — The Eagles' pair of senior forwards each recorded two goals and two assists in the win against Florida School for the Deaf. Fagler also added an assist in the St. Francis game. Ugliano is now second on the team with 22 goals this season, and Fagler is third with 18.
Gena Adams and Maggie Swanbeck, Gainesville — The Hurricanes' junior defenders have played tenacious defense all season, and it showed this week, as Gainesville held three district opponents to just three goals.
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