By Chris North
Midfielder Daisy Mashburn offers a simple reason why she expects the Atlanta Girls School soccer team to do well this spring: “It’s our turn,” she said.
Mashburn and four of her teammates have been playing soccer together at AGS for five seasons. The five girls won starting positions on the school’s varsity soccer team in the eighth grade and have stuck together every year since. This year, they’re seniors.
“It’s our last chance to play together and to really dominate in high school,” Daisy said.
Their history supports their belief that they can do well. Over the past four years, AGS Athletics Director Cat Stansbury said the school’s soccer team twice claimed 1-AAA regional titles in the Georgia Independent School Association, an association of private, independent and parochial schools. The other two years, including last year, the team finished second in the region, said Stansbury, who has coached the five since sixth grade.
What do they expect this year? “We’re going to win region and then go to state [tournament],” forward Kali Stitt predicted. “We’re going to do it all because it’s our senior year.”
Daisy, Kali, goalie Devin Gooden, midfielder Nia Robertson and midfielder Sarah Carlton said their years of playing together pay off on the field.
“We’ve been together so long,” Devin said, “we feel close together and know how we play.”
They also know that helping younger teammates is a big part of their jobs as seniors. “When we’re gone, about a third of the team will be gone,” Sarah said.
Their coach expects success in their final season.
“The goal is always to win the regional championship and to go as far as we can in the tournament,” Stansbury said. She turned to her players. “The sky’s the limit, right?”
Tennis player Jessica Johnson has been on the varsity tennis team for four years, and has served as captain for two years.
Ninth grader Jackie Goodwin competed at the state level last year in the pole vault and high jump. This is her second year on the varsity team.