Featured Power Rankings Soccer

Soccer preview: Preseason Power Rankings (Girls)

The 2020 season is finally upon us, as the girls take to the pitch in the shadows of a stellar 2019 year. Who will rise to the top of our rankings as the season rolls on?

1. JEFFERSON

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 14-5-1 (5-1); Region Runner-Up; 3A State Semifinals; #4 State Ranking
  • COACH: Molly McCarty
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: Cassi McCormack
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Abbey Eison, Margo Perry

Molly McCarty and the Lady Dragons are set for a giant 2020. Returning is Eison and her 19 G, 5 A stat line, as well as star keeper Perry (12 shutouts). McCormack’s departure on defense is a tough hit, but the talent is there to step into and fill that role. Jefferson is an early favorite to not only win a region title, but get to the state title game.

2. LUMPKIN COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 11-7 (4-2); Region 3rd; 3A State Sweet 16; #5 State Ranking
  • COACH: Don Brock
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: Kinlee Abercrombie, Gracie Luesing, Adrienne Hilchie
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Hope Kenney, Charlotte Cunningham, Ashley Read, Emily Lunn

The Lady Indians will be forced to re-tool part of the defense, but having Cunningham back between the pipes (7 shutouts, 1.53 GAA) means there shouldn’t be much of a drop-off here. Not to mention Kenney back for her senior year after 33 G and 8 A last season, breaking the single-season goals record. The all-time record is now in grasp for her. Another up-and-comer is Read (15 G, 5 A) that Don Brock will have to use on offense.

3. WHITE COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 13-4 (3-3); Region 4th; 4A State RND 1; #7 State Ranking
  • COACH: Megan Runkle
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: N/A
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Bella Ramey, Ansley Seabolt, Cassidy Campbell, Alexis Pashkovets, Ada Smith, Leah Alexander, Aubrey Dowdy, Hannah Gerrells, Skylar Williams

The Lady Warriors return just about every standout from last year’s group, including Ramey (17 G, 5 A) and star keeper Seabolt. Smith’s 12 G and 6 A added to that gives the offense a boost, while the defense will be anchored by Campbell, Pashkovets, Alexander, Dowdy, and Gerrells. Because of everyone coming back, we anticipate HUGE things for White County.

4. DAWSON COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 13-2-1 (6-0); Region Champions; 3A State Sweet 16; #2 State Ranking
  • COACH: Chess Hamby
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: Makenzie Kimbarl, Fallan Lacey, Rachel Rajczak
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Molly Muenchen

The Lady Tigers have some gaping holes left by Kimbarl (reigning region POY) and keeper Lacey (7 shutouts), but bringing back Muenchen (30 G, 11 A) is a huge return. However, offensive stalwart Rajczak (17 G, 10 A) will also be missed. It’s hard to pinpoint just how Dawson will do, but Chess Hamby has plenty of talent at his disposal.

5. UNION COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 12-3-1 (7-0); Region Champions; 2A State Quarterfinals; #6 State Ranking
  • COACH: Tim Hunter
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: Madison Yost, Ellie Garrison, Maddie Sutton
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: N/A

How do you replace 103 career goals (and 31 from last season, as well as 14 assists), all by one player in Yost? Not in one fell swoop. Tim Hunter has to find the next player to fill that threat, as well as on the flip side, losing All-Region talent Garrison and Sutton. This is still a program that is used to winning, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see them make another big run.

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

6. HABERSHAM CENTRAL

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 6-10 (5-5); Region 4th; 6A State RND 1
  • COACH: Jeff Labarbera
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: N/A
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Addie Penick, Taylor Acker

Hab Central returns both Penick and Acker, who combined for 16 goals in ’19. That’s a formidable duo that can be built around, and the Lady Raiders should be able to again nail down a spot in the state playoffs.

7. TOWNS COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 10-3-1 (6-0); Region Champions; 1A State Quarterfinals; #8 State Ranking
  • COACH: Clay Livingston
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: Taylor Cornett, Lea Neumyer
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: N/A

Gone is Cornett (26 G, 35 A), who replaced the program’s greatest in Brooke Barrett (all-time leading scorer) from the year prior. Add in the loss of head coach John Cornett, and Towns County could take a regression this year. First-year coach Clay Livingston will have some work to do to build this team back up. Still, there is an expectation to win for this program, and we still see that happening even with many new faces.

8. RABUN COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 4-4-1 (4-2-1); Region 3rd; 2A State RND 1
  • COACH: Andy Mahaffey
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: N/A
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Lauren Barnes

Any time you bring back your leading scorer (Barnes, 17 G), that’s a great omen. It starts there for Rabun, and the Lady Cats behind her can be in for a big season. We think for sure better than 4 wins as in ’19.

9. STEPHENS COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 7-8-1 (1-3); Region 4th; 4A State RND 1
  • COACH: Sita Preston
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: Cadie Vena
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Isabella Morrow

Vena and her 13 goals are off the roster, which is an opportunity for someone to step up as the go-to scorer for the Lady Indians. The defense will be anchored by Morrow, and Stephens should once again be in the position to make a playoff push.

10. BANKS COUNTY

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 3-14 (1-6); Region 7th
  • COACH: Maranda Parks
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: Lucy Hughes, Abby Ledford
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: N/A

This program takes a big hit from losing Hughes and Ledford, who combined for 12 goals in ’19. Still, the Lady Leopards have players that can fill the void and perhaps take the next step from a 3-win team a year ago.

11. COMMERCE

  • 2019 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 2-9-2 (2-3-1); Region 6th
  • COACH: Scott Tolbert
  • KEY PLAYERS LOST: N/A
  • KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Olivia Mitchell, Maggie Mullis, Abby Tolbert

The Lady Tigers had an expected first year of soccer in school history. That said, this team should take some momentum forward into 2020. All-Region players Mitchell, Mullis, and Tolbert return this season. According to Coach Tolbert, the middle school program that has many girls entering onto the varsity squad this year, scored 105 goals against just 2 allowed and hadn’t lost a game in over 3 years. Big things ahead for Commerce!

SKINNY AD 2 - DCMM GIF

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