Lineberger Stadium has long been known as a place where the dreams of South Point Gridiron’s opponents rest.
The same has been true of Lady Raiders ‘girls’ soccer program lately.
South Point played the second round playoff match against Fred T. Foard on Wednesday and won 18 times in a row on his home spot. The list includes Lady Raiders’ next opponent, who defeated Foard 2-0 in a hard-fought playoff matchup in 2019.
Yet for so much success the program has enjoyed at home, South Point girls soccer coach Chris Baity understands that a discouraging atmosphere adds only a small part to the magic in Belmont.
“The team has worked hard all year,” he said. “It was in practice, it was the mentality that got them out of there, just a hard work rate and making sure they do their job. In return, the team wins.
“We preached this year-round, worked hard, and as a family. We like to see that. “
Despite the fact that in a shortened season the South Point girls’ soccer team set up a new goals program, it now stands at 106.
Grace Smith is a star in Belmont Middle and continues to excel at the university level. After missing much of her first season due to the COVID-19 health crisis, she leads the Lady Raiders with 30 goals and is second on the team with 11 assists.
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The standout senior Brooke Villemagne is in the lead with 23 goals followed by 18 courtesy of Jordan Villemagne. Emme Lewandowski has a team height of 18 assists.
As productive as South Point was, it was suffocating as well. The Lady Raiders have allowed a total of five goals, more than four games at a time, without an opponent having scored one.
“This is a very talented group of young women,” he said. “I have the privilege of coming here for an easy job and doing the mental tactics to make sure they’re in the right position, that we have the right formations, and that they’re doing the right runs.
“These girls take the call every time. We’ve had a couple of games where there was a first half that we weren’t happy with. Make some adjustments at halftime and open things up in the second. It’s a great mentality of theirs and made for an amazing season. “
In 2019, the South Point girls’ soccer team made the program’s deepest postseason trek in history, advancing to the 2A regional semi-finals before bowing to Hendersonville. A win on Wednesday would bring this year’s team level with this historic group.
Baity herself was on the right side of history earlier this year, leading the South Point Boys’ soccer team to a stake in their first championship since 1998.
“It was a privilege to be here in South Point. We have an amazing group of young men and young women who are just ready to work, ”he said. “I love to see what you are doing, love the program and we hope to continue building this program for years to come.
“At the moment, however, the goal is to concentrate on the task at hand. The biggest thing is a high level of work intensity (in practice), which treats every day like a state championship game, because from here it is “one and done”. We have to make sure we have this mentality and put that effort on the field every night. “
You can reach Joe Hughes at 704-914-8138, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow @JoeLHughesII on Twitter.