In a year in which big goal totals highlight the Class AAA girls soccer All-State first team, perhaps it’s fitting that it took a record-setting season to earn captain’s honors.
Hurricane sophomore Bailey Fisher booted in 66 goals, an unofficial state record, and in leading her team back to the state tournament for a second year in a row, she was named Class AAA All-State captain as chosen by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
In all, the Redskins landed three players on the first team, tops of any school. Junior defender Abby Fowler and junior goalkeeper Olivia Bird (19 shutouts) also earned spots.
Having won the 2018 state championship and after rolling through the biggest part of the 2019 season, Hurricane entered the postseason as one of the favorites to claim another championship. But Fisher suffered a torn ACL in a regional final win over Parkersburg South and the Redskins fell to eventual champion Morgantown in a state semifinal.
Fisher made waves throughout the state as news of her goal-scoring spread, but coach Shelly Young pointed out that the contributions of all three first-teamers have been equally as important in the team’s two-year run of tournament success.
“The level of comfort the rest of the team has when you’ve got players in the middle of the field like Olivia Bird and like Abby, there’s a sense of comfort there,” Young said. “It allows you to be more creative offensively and allows you to maybe take some chances because you have defensive players like them that are there that allow that to happen.
“Especially later in the year, they really started to figure out how to create out of the back as well. They were starting attacks from our defense.”
Two players represented Morgantown on the first team with junior forward Anna Inquinto and senior midfielder Sammie Brown each earning nods. Inquinto scored 28 goals, including one in a 3-2 championship game win over Hedgesville. Brown, daughter of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, scored 28 goals to go with 14 assists. She will continue her playing career at Auburn next year.
Two-time state player of the year Emilie Charles capped a tremendous career by scoring 51 goals for Cabell Midland this season. Charles’ 174 career goals is also an unofficial state record in a season where several marks were broken. There is no official state record book for soccer, though efforts to fix that in the coming years are underway.
Rounding out the group of five first-team forwards are Wheeling Park senior Faith Mealey (28 goals, eight assists) and Ripley senior Olivia Gandee (27 goals, 10 assists). Gandee will play at Marshall next season.
Along with Brown, Wheeling Park senior Emma Delk (31 goals, 11 assists), Hampshire senior Emma Shreve (10 goals, 22 assists) as well as George Washington sophomore Reagan Bromiley rounded out the first-team midfield.
Fowler was joined at defender by Buckhannon-Upshur junior Kennedy Samargo and Spring Mills senior Maddie Hearn.
Hedgesville, the state runner-up, put two players on the first team with senior Brooke Miller joining Bird at goalkeeper and senior Tal Roppolo taking one of the two utility spots.
George Washington junior Kalissa Lacy (20 goals, 26 assists) rounded out the first team at utility.
Cabell Midland senior forward Elisabeth Dick was named captain of the second team.