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Girls Soccer Preseason Power Rankings

Plenty of talented teams in our corner of North Georgia. Here's how they measure up heading into 2019!

Crump GIF 2018

Girls soccer last season featured some great storylines and historic runs. Let’s look at how the teams stack up as we have first touch in 2019.

#1 DAWSON CO LADY TIGERS

2018 RECORD: 12-3
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region Runner-Up / 3A State Sweet 16
HEAD COACH: Chess Hamby
KEY LOSSES: Hope Bennett, Ashley Stanfill, Grace Sheer
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Rachel Rajczak, Fallan Lacey, Molly Muenchen, Makenzie Kimbral, Ruthie Pittman, Molly Kitchen, Kinsey Beaty

Can you say loaded? Dawson County returns almost everyone, including game-changers Molly Muenchen (36 G, 5A), Rachel Rajczak (14 G, 10 A), Makenzie Kimbral (2 G, A, 9 Shutouts), and Fallan Lacey, one of the best keepers in the state. Chess Hamby’s group did very well last season, but this should be an even better finish!

#2 LUMPKIN CO LADY INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 12-5-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 3A State Sweet 16
HEAD COACH: Don Brock
KEY LOSSES: Morgan Fagan, Kat Cunningham, Holly Foster, Hope Foster
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Hope Kenney, Kinlee Abercrombie, Charlotte Cunningham

There’s a good core to keep this train going with Hope Kenney (17 G, 5 A), Kinlee Abercrombie (8 shutouts), and star keeper Charlotte Cunningham (0.73 GAA). But losing Morgan Fagan (16 G, 10 A) is a big hit, as are the Foster girls and Kat Cunningham. However, Don Brock has built this machine to run smoothly regardless of turnover. The Lady Indians should once again battle with Dawson for a region title, and it’s almost a guarantee to make the Sweet 16, though they would love to return to the Final 4 like they did in 2015. Since 2014, Lumpkin has won 67 games, being ranked as high as #1 in the state, winning a region title, and making state all five seasons, which includes a Quarterfinals appearance, Semifinals appearance, a Sweet 16, and two first rounds.

#3 WHITE CO LADY WARRIORS

2018 RECORD: 10-8-2
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 4A State Elite 8
HEAD COACH: Megan Runkle
KEY LOSSES: Derrica Rohmeyer
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Bella Ramey

White County had an historic Quarterfinal run last season that just barely missed leaking into the Semis. Bella Ramey brings back her 24 G, 9 A self, but losing a playmaker like Derrica Rohmeyer will be hard to find, as she had 8 goals, 3 assists, and two game-winning goals.

#4 JEFFERSON LADY DRAGONS

2018 RECORD: 10-6-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 4A State Round 1
HEAD COACH: Molly McCarty
KEY LOSSES: Liz Quilliams, Briana Rosales, Sophia Lamar
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Valerie Ladue, Margo Perry, Lauren Wilson, Chloe Hopcraft

Jefferson returns a good percentage of its goal-scoring leaders. However, the Lady Dragons could use a bit more offense than they had a year ago. The defense was very good, however. Losing Sophia Lamar between the pipes will be very hard to fill, but Margo Perry did pretty well in there last year when she had the chance. Leading scorer Valerie Ladue is back, as is Lauren Wilson and Chloe Hopcraft. Dropping into Class 3A will be interesting to see the gap between the competition.

#5 UNION CO LADY PANTHERS

2018 RECORD: 9-7
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 6th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Tim Hunter
KEY LOSSES: Layne Baenninger, Brenna Innis
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Madison Yost

Union had one of the top offenses in the region last year, but the defense had a very difficult go at it. Madison Yost (32 G, 6 A) might score even more this year with the loss of Layne Baenninger (10 G, 15 A) and Brenna Innis (7 G, 16 A), but who will feed Yost for those goals? Will someone or a few step up to prevent more goals allowed? Back-to-back playoff-less seasons is not normal for Union, so they’re looking to get back for the first time since 2016’s Elite 8 run. From 2011-16, the girls won 70 games and made two Quarterfinals appearances and won two region titles.

#6 TOWNS CO LADY INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 9-5
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region Runner-Up / 1A State Sweet 16
HEAD COACH: John Cornett
KEY LOSSES: Brooke Barrett
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Taylor Cornett

How do you replace a Brooke Barrett (27 G, 16 A)? You can’t do it in one fell swoop, so it has to be in aggregate. The supporting cast around Barrett was pretty good, including returning key player Taylor Cornett. There’s plenty to build off in this program, which has made the playoffs seven of the last eight years. Towns County’s girls soccer has made winning a habit.

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

#7 RABUN CO LADY WILDCATS

2018 RECORD: 5-7
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 2A State Sweet 16
HEAD COACH: Andy Mahaffey
KEY LOSSES: Kimberly Dolan, Alysha Price, Cierra Davis, Jasmine Boyer
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Lauren Barnes, Kaitlin Coleman, Morgan O’Neal-Blurton

Rabun returns top player Lauren Barnes (13 G, 10 A) as just a sophomore. The program has two Sweet 16’s in the last three years, but would love to put up more wins than last year’s five. We believe this team will make another deep playoff run.

#8 STEPHENS CO LADY INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 8-8-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 6th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Sita Preston
KEY LOSSES: Erin Carter, Erin Ritchey
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Liz Adams, Jordan Adams, Emily Adams, Gabby Morrow, Maryann Lytle

Erin Carter was a generational player for Stephens County, scoring 25 goals, 6 assists, and notching 6 hat tricks. The defense needs a tremendous boost as well after allowing 56 goals last season. Nevertheless, coach Sita Preston has some holdover pieces that should be good to build around.

2019 Jacky Jones GIF
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#9 BANKS CO LADY LEOPARDS

2018 RECORD: 3-14-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Maranda Parks
KEY LOSSES: Madison Standridge, Kimberly Molina, Kali Lyons
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Lucy Hughes, Abby Ledford

Lucy Hughes returns as a senior following 14 goals and 9 assists last year. That will be much-needed and then some. The Lady Leopards were so close to making the playoffs with a pair of region wins, but needed just one more. Abby Ledford returns for her senior year between the posts, but the presence and leadership of Madison Standridge will be sorely missed. Still, the defense which allowed a region worst 91 goals last year must improve, and someone outside of Hughes will need to add some scoring.

#10 HABERSHAM CENTRAL LADY RAIDERS

2018 RECORD: 4-11-2
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Jeff Labarbera
KEY LOSSES: Motsey Wilbanks, Lexi Dean
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

The Lady Raiders also barely missed on the postseason. One more win and they were in. This group isn’t far fetched from the 7-win playoff team from 2017. Motsey Wilbanks (15 G, 2 A) Lexi Dean (7 G, 2 A) will need to be replaced, which won’t be easy. That duo made up 67% of the scoring.

N/A: COMMERCE LADY TIGERS

2018 RECORD: N/A; 1st Season
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: N/A
HEAD COACH: Rich Friedman
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

Commerce opens 2019 in its first season with a girls soccer program. Time will tell where they go, but for now we have no information to provide any insight on this team.

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