The spring season provided the usual haul of talented girls soccer players. While the largest concentration of participating states and players is in the fall, the spring isn’t far behind. This list honors five girls breakout stars who used the 2013-14 season to etch their names in stone.
Jennifer Westendorf, Grayson High School (Loganville, Georgia)
It’s becoming harder and harder for Westendorf to stay off national radar screens, and this season might’ve been the one that finally punched through the noise. Westendorf has scored 34 goals in 24 games for ECNL side GSA at the U17 level, and she’ll feature as one of the highlights of the ECNL playoffs in Seattle in June. But she also recently polished a wildly successful sophomore season with Grayson, which she helped guide into the Georgia Class 6A title game. Grayson lost 2-1, but Westendorf scored to bring her end-of-season goals tally to 46 to pair with six assists. Westendorf, who’s already verballed to Notre Dame, has history on the U17 WNT, and she’ll likely be a terror at Grayson for another two years.
Anna Beffer, Union High School (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
It’s typical that end-of-season plaudits go to the more prolific players, namely forwards and attacking midfielders who thrive in front of goal. That’s a natural byproduct of their bloated numbers, but to stand out as a stay-at-home player takes that much more effort. In steps Beffer, one of Oklahoma’s best girls players and a force for regional power Tulsa Union, which made a run to the Oklahoma Class 6A semifinals before losing its only game to bow out of the postseason. Beffer’s numbers didn’t break the bank - she had nine goals and seven assists - but as the puppet master for this 15-1 side, it didn’t get any more integral than Beffer, who’s committed to Big 12 power Oklahoma State.
Morgan Reid, Cardinal Gibbons High School (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Reid was absolutely integral for Cardinal Gibbons’ success in 2014, which included a 21-2-2 record and a run into the third round of the North Carolina Class 3A state tournament. Gibbons was only stopped by Chapel Hill, which ended up in the state title game. Reid polished her senior season with a second half rocket to cut the deficit to 2-1, and while Gibbons couldn’t draw any closer, that gave Reid her 23rd goal of the season to pair with her nine assists. The Duke commit was a terror running at defenders from the midfield, and she enjoyed the finest and most productive season of her distinguished high school career this season. She finished with 57 career goals and 50 assists, and she spent some time with the U20 WNT this year as well.
McKenzie Dixon, Bentonville High School (Bentonville, Arkansas)
Clutch. If Dixon proved anything in her junior season at state juggernaut Bentonville, it’s that she’s clutch. The biggest of Dixon’s 36 goals this season came in the state championship game against Bryant, when she smashed one in with about 20 minutes to play to give Bentonville the 3-2 lead that eventually won the team the title. It was Bentonville’s third straight, meaning each of Dixon’s three high school seasons ended with a trophy ceremony. The Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year now has 65 career high school goals and, with one season of high school soccer left to play, a chance at a clean state title four-peat. She’s an Austin Peay commit for 2015.
Jeni Erickson, J.L. Mann Academy (Greenville, South Carolina)
Erickson’s been on the scene with J.L. Mann for a while, helping them to three successful seasons before entering her senior year this season. This season was nearly the best of all, as J.L. Mann was unbeaten before a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Wando in the Class 4A state championship game ended the season on a sour note. Still, Erickson finished strong by providing the equalizing goal in the second half before Wando found the winner with just 10 minutes to go. That gave her 30 goals for the season, and the midfielder heads off to college with a unique lineage of success behind her.