WINTER ALL-AREA: Girls Soccer

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

PUNTA GORDA — The statistic jumps right off the page of Caitlyn Lowery’s season for the Charlotte girls soccer team.

Her whopping 27 goals were an area best, but it was one game in particular that stands out for coach Amanda Carr, a game in which Lowery didn’t score a single goal.

It was that night that truly showed how versatile Lowery is on the soccer field, and a game where Carr came to truly admire Lowery not only as a player, but also as a person.

The Tarpons faced off against an inferior Imagine School squad in their second to last game of the season. The goal, no pun intended, was to have as many seniors as possible score.

Lowery made it happen as Charlotte won 5-0.

“Caitlyn probably could’ve scored eight goals in the first 10 minutes of that game but every time she’d pass it back to this person or that person to try and get them a goal,” said Carr, who wrapped up her first year as coach. “That demonstrates the type of character that’s hard to find in an individual who’s willing to stand in front of the goal and not shoot. That’s my most memorable moment of her.

“I watched her the whole game. She’d dribble up to the goal and then the target player we were trying to get to score, she’d pass it back to them and they’d take an attempt and she never once said no or complained. She was more than willing to do it and that really demonstrates the type of characteristic that I admire in a person.”

Lowery, a junior, also finished the season tied for the area lead with eight assists to go with her 27 goals, six more than her closest challenger in the area. Those are just among the reasons she’s The Sun’s girls soccer player of the year.

“This is an awesome honor because there are a lot of good players in Charlotte County and at North Port,” Lowery said. “It helps with my confidence and makes me feel good knowing that you work hard and it pays off.”

Like Carr, Lowery vividly remembers that night against Imagine. It’s one of her most memorable moments from this past season.

“I knew some of the seniors hadn’t scored a lot of goals and I was able to help them score, and they were happy after they scored so that felt good,” Lowery said.

The sky is the limit for Lowery, who expects to have an even better season as a senior. On May 8 she committed to play college soccer at Florida Southern along with her twin sister, Brooke.

As a result, Lowery recently joined a gym to strengthen her muscles to get ready for college soccer, and Carr sees that paying off huge dividends next season.

“I think her strength will come into the maximum amount of play, especially when she’s one-on-one with a defender,” the coach said. “She’s started holding her ground more, and in her senior year she could be especially dangerous.”

Lowery said the biggest key to her successful season was the arrival of Carr, who brought a lot of positivity to the program in her first season and tapped into Lowery’s potential as a scoring machine.

But Carr pointed to something else — Lowery’s confidence and killer instinct.

“Caitlyn is so dangerous because of her ability to finish in front of the goal,” Carr said. “Usually, we can see athletes sometimes struggle when they’re one-on-one with the goalie or they have an awkward angle, and Caitlyn finds a way to finish and be calm when she’s in front of the goal. I think that’s her biggest strength.”

Just one of many for the top soccer player in the area.

THE LOWERY FILE

Age: 17
Parents: Dave and Stacy Lowery
Siblings: Brooke Lowery
Favorite subject: science
Future major: Leaning toward business
Favorite music: Country

ALL-AREA TEAM

F: Summer Rusher
Lemon Bay • Senior
Led the Manta Rays in scoring for the fourth straight year, netting 21 goals. The Southeastern recruit also was tied for the team-lead with eight assists.

F:Stephanie Tieu
Lemon Bay • Senior
Scored 13 goals and added three assists.

F: AD Troche
North Port • Sophomore
Led the Bobcats with 13 goals and also dished out three assists to help lead the team to its first district title in school history.

MF: Isabella Reyes
Port Charlotte • Sophomore
Helped control the midfield for the Pirates while scoring eight goals with three assists in her first year on varsity.

MF: Hope Robson
Lemon Bay • Senior
The North Greenville recruit scored 15 goals and tied for the team lead in assists with eight.

MF: Haley Royer
North Port • Senior
The Lynn signee scored seven goals — two via penalty kick — and led the Bobcats with six assists.

DEF: Doren Staley
Port Charlotte • Junior
Played an instrumental role on Port Charlotte’s back line. She also showed off her offensive skills, scoring four goals to go along with three assists.

DEF: Brooke Lowery
Charlotte • Junior
Was the most consistent defender for the Tarpons. She also scored a goal and assisted on five more.

DEF: Izzy Rogers
North Port • Senior
North Port gave up an area-low 28 goals, and Rogers was a big reason why. She was named the team’s defensive MVP and also contributed two goals and two assists.

GK: Grace Stec
Port Charlotte • Junior
Had an area-best 165 saves and posted 10 shutouts. Stec even came out of the net to score a goal on a free kick against North Fort Myers.

HONORABLE MENTION

Lemon Bay: Alex Gassman (GK), Zoe Mel (F), Angelina Beach (MF), Marissa Nebel (D)
North Port: Alexis Abene (F), Arianne Guerra (F), Abbey Nottingham (MF), Augusta Purvis (D), Seraiah Bailey (D)
Port Charlotte: Cassidy Francis (F), Dayna Borges (MF)

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