Pitch Preview: Habersham Central Lady Raiders
This is the best stretch for girls soccer since 2010 at Habersham Central. The Lady Raiders punched a Sweet 16 appearance last season, were Region Runner-Up, and had a record 13 wins. The playoff run was a third straight (excluding the COVID-interrupted 2020). Some playmakers are gone, but this team is still bringing back a solid core and should be able to build off last season’s run.
HEAD COACH: Jeff LaBarbera (6th Season)
2022 RECORD: 13-5; Region 8-AAAAAA Runner-Up; 6A State Sweet 16
RETURNING STARTERS: 7
KEY DEPARTURES: Breelyn Carroll, Syndney Turner, JR Campbell, Anna LaBarbera
KEY PLAYERS: Sarah Clark, Paisley Cathey, Piper Turner, Riley Wilson
“We have leading goal-scorer Sarah Clark returning this year hoping to have another big year up top,” says LaBarbera. “Midfield maestro Paisley Cathey will be heavily relied upon again to control the middle of the park. Defensively, Piper Turner will need to step up into the role of defensive leader, and Riley Wilson will return as goalkeeper.”
STRENGTHS: “We have a talented and deep squad who work well together,” adds LaBarbera. “Our team unity is special, and we are all striving to exceed last year’s team and their historic accomplishments.”
With Sarah Clark and Paisley Cathey back to continue their dominance, this team is in great shape. Everything is there – chemistry, success, experience, and talent. Up-and-coming talents like Piper Turner and others will quickly insert themselves as playmakers, and look for the Lady Raiders to once again be near the top of the region and making some noise in the playoffs.
“Hoping to push for our first region title and make a deeper run into the 6A playoffs,” says LaBarbera of what this team wants to accomplish.