The Lady Eagles (9-1, 4-1 Area 2AAAAAA) are on a seven-game winning streak, with their last five wins coming by an average of 10.6 goals per game.
Etowah’s lone loss came against north Fulton power Roswell during the third game of the season. Since then, the Lady Eagles have looked much stronger, posting double-digit goal totals in each of their last five games, including Friday’s 19-2 victory over Wheeler.
Coach Gil Strougo said his players are playing well together. As of now, they don’t have one standout player — which Strougo says is a good thing.
“When you have one or two good players, it doesn’t take long for your opponents to figure out who they are and key on them,” he said. “One thing that I really try to develop is having more than one go-to girl. You have seven offensive players. All seven of them should be able to score and not just rely on one or two of them.”
Strougo said the team has blended veteran players with newcomers nicely. Several freshmen have stepped up, as well as players who moved up from the junior varsity team.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised most of the season,” Strougo said. “I think our record can be attributed to that. The girls are really stepping up and playing well. They are taking more chances and being more aggressive. Hopefully, that leads us to some success.”
Among Etowah’s team’s top scorers are Victoria Stairs, Rachel Harden and Katherine Pradhu, but everyone has been pitching in lately. In an 18-6 victory over area rival North Cobb, nine different girls scored.
“Several girls have scored one goal here, one goal there,” Strougo said. “But still, for them to have the confidence to take the ball in and shoot is the important part.”
The Lady Eagles’ schedule over the next two weeks won’t be easy. The team’s next four opponents — Lassiter, West Forsyth, Walton and Kennesaw Mountain — were all ranked in the top 10 of the Class AAAAAA power rankings after Friday’s games. And before the season is over, the Lady Eagles will have to face the current No. 1, seven-time state champion Milton.
Strougo said his players won’t be taking off any time before traveling to Lassiter on Thursday.
“This year is looking to be a very good year,” he said. “But, of course, the real test will be Lassiter, Walton, Milton. Those are the teams to really beat at this point.”