Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Ashley Morgan did not miss a beat after two full seasons away from competitive soccer.
The Glencoe High senior forward recently was named Player of the Year for the 2020 All-Etowah County girls soccer team. Nominations were submitted by area coaches and the team was voted on by the coaches and members of the local media. Ashville High School was included in the nominations and voting.
After starting her seventh, eighth and ninth grade seasons, Morgan (pictured above) missed her sophomore and junior years due to injuries. In only nine games this season, Morgan scored 15 goals and distributed four assists while helping the Lady Yellow Jackets to a 7-1-1 record.
Glencoe girls coach Craig Smith was not at all surprised this spring when Morgan picked up where she left off 24 months ago.
“When Ashley told us that she was coming back her senior year, I knew right then that we had a shot at doing something special because I knew what kind of athlete Ashley was and what she was capable of,” he said. “I knew we had the defense; we just needed somebody that could score goals, and Ashley definitely filled that role for us. Out of the whole season that we were able to play, there was only one game (a 1-0 win over Donoho on March 12) that the defense had any bearing on her at all.”
Smith noted that Morgan provided solid leadership this season despite missing the previous two years.
“Ashley was quiet vocally because she’d been gone for so long, but she led by example. She’s one of those kids who will give you everything she’s got and will try her best to do everything you ask her to do. Ashley’s a very coachable kid, and when you combine athleticism with coachability, that’s a deadly scenario for the opposition.”
Joining Morgan on the all-county girls first team were sophomore goalkeeper Daijah Hammond (58 saves, seven goals allowed), senior defender Ashlyn Clowdus and sophomore defender Taylor Russell (key players on a defense that had five shutouts in nine games) from Glencoe; senior center defender/outside midfielder/forward Makayla Moore (10 goals, five assists), senior goalkeeper/outside midfielder Bliss Brown (27 saves, two goals), sophomore center midfielder Camryn Davis (four goals, six assists) and sophomore center midfielder Alana Morton (three goals, two assists) from Southside; senior forward Haley Swafford (team leader in goals), senior Riley Kerr (all-around player in three positions), sophomore center defender Amelia Ryan and
sophomore Hartley Reynolds (second on team in goals) from Gadsden City; Westbrook Christian senior Alyia Al-homound (four goals, two assists) and senior goalkeeper Kirsi Gupta (allowed five goals in area play, blocked penalty kick) from Westbrook Christian; and junior center-midfielder Meghan McCarthy (scored on penalty kick, one assist), junior forward Callie Stewart (team leader in goals and shots on goal) and sophomore forward Kathleen McCarthy (two goals, 12 shots on goals) from Ashville.
Coach of the Year honors went to Gadsden City’s Samantha Corker, who led the Lady Titans to an 8-3-1 record.
Selected for honorable mention were Glencoe junior Jacey Cochran; Southside sophomore center midfielder Laney Bishop (four goals, five assists); Southside senior outside defender Peyton Abernathy; Westbrook freshman Sarah Guffey; and Ashville freshman Emma Drinkard.