CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Catholic girls’ soccer team is putting up some impressive numbers as the season hits the midway point.
Catholic has won its first 11 games of the season and the Cougars are 6-0 in the rugged Southern Carolina Conference after defeating Marvin Ridge 3-0 April 10. Catholic, which lost in the Class 4A Regional Finals last spring before dropping down to Class 3A this school year, is 29-1-3 since starting the 2017 season at 3-2.
With Eveleen Hahn and Lindsey Poff leading the offensive attack, Catholic is averaging 5.7 goals a game. The defensive stats are just as impressive as the Cougars have pitched six shutouts in their first 11 games.
But the numbers that may be the most impressive are the school’s national numbers. Maxpreps.com has the Cougars ranked No. 5 nationally while TopDrawerSoccer.com has the Cougars ranked No. 3 in the country.
Catholic head coach Gary Hoilett said the national rankings are nice but they don’t mean much at this point in the season. Catholic is instead focused on winning a conference championship in a competitive conference and using that momentum to bring home a state championship.
Catholic moved into the driver’s seat in the Southern Carolina Conference when the Cougars defeated two-time Class 3A state champion Weddington 5-4 on penalty kicks on March 22 and with the win against the Mavericks on April 10. Catholic and Weddington will meet again on April 24 at Catholic.
“It’s been a good start for us,” Hoilett said. “But it is only halfway through the season and we have some tough games ahead of us. Weddington is a good team, good players and always well prepared. Most games will almost always play out like that last one and we are happy with the win. We are trying to stay focused because this is a tough conference. Those things (rankings) are nice for the program and nice for the players. But, I had no idea that is where we are ranked right now.”
Hahn, a junior, leads the offensive attack with 23 goals and 12 assists. The South Carolina commit tallied 32 goals and 11 assists a year ago. Poff, who had 18 goals and 13 assists as a junior, has 20 goals and nine assists and she has signed to play soccer at Appalachian State.
“We want to be able to attack people,” Hoilett said. “We have some players that can put some goals away for us. I think it is a combination of how we play when we have the ball and that we are willing to take some risks coming forward and attacking people.”
Hoilett said Hahn is a complete player that has a bright future in the game.
“Good player,” Hoilett said. “Really good finisher of the ball. But people see the goals and what people are not seeing are all the other things she does for us. She works extremely hard on both ends of the ball.”
Hahn hopes to beat last year’s goal total while helping the team take the next step in the postseason.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Hahn said. “They have really helped me with assists and making good passes. Last year was a confidence booster.”
Hoilett said Poff’s work ethic has allowed her to get off to a solid start in her final season in a Catholic jersey.
“You are seeing the goals, but a lot of people are not seeing all the other things she is doing for the team on and off the field,” Hoilett said. “She does a lot of work behind the ball when it is time to defend. She is fully committed to what we are trying to do this year.”
Freshman Ella Futch has stepped in and filled a void in net, replacing Abbey Stapleton, who is now the starting keeper for the Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer team.
“Pleasant surprise, very pleasant surprise,” Hoilett said.
Catholic played a conference game against Piedmont on April 12 and they face Providence Day on April 13 in a nonconference game. The Cougars have league games against Monroe, Cuthbertson and Parkwood before their showdown with Weddington on April 24.