It’s debatable whether Lancaster would have just completed its best girls’ soccer season in school history, if senior Frances Whitesides wasn’t on the team.
Actually, it’s not.
The midfielder did it all for the Bruins, helping them to a second-place finish in an always tough Region 3-4A, a 16-7 final record, and a first ever trip to the second round of the state playoffs after beating Riverside 1-0 in the first round. The Bruins were 7-11 in 2013 and Whitesides was a huge reason for their turnaround. She scored 30 goals and assisted 16 more, while generally terrorizing region and non-region foes alike.
“Frances stepped up this year into a leadership role and that helped the team step up as well,” said Lancaster coach Ed Humphrey, who was compelled to send his thoughts on his star player from halfway around the world during a vacation in Sweden.
Whitesides’ career won’t stop now. She’s signed to play at Presbyterian College this fall. The all-action play-maker scored nine goals and assisted two en route to an All-Area selection last spring, but saw her stats, and her team’s success, surge this past season.
“She scored more this year because she had more help from her teammates,” said Humphrey, who is the Herald’s All-Area Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year. “When she was struggling, someone stepped up and took the pressure off of her.”
Whitesides burst through the Clover backline and scored with two minutes left in the game for a 2-1 Lancaster win; Against Nation Ford, the Bruins jumped out to a two-goal lead before the Falcons equalized. Humphrey didn’t have to say much at the half; Whitesides piped up, telling her team very simply they weren’t going to lose. She scored twice in the second half to help Lancaster to a big win.
First team• Claire Allen, Clover, senior scored 25 goals this past spring. Allen, who is headed to Campbell University to play soccer, was an All-Region selection for the Blue Eagles.
• Frances Whitesides, Lancaster, senior striker was named All-Region for the fourth consecutive year, in addition to All-State honors and a selection to the Clash of the Carolinas all-star game. Whitesides, who signed with Presbyterian College, scored 30 goals and doled out 16 assists while helping Lancaster to one of its best girls’ soccer seasons in school history.
• Effie Spears, Lancaster, All-Region keeper made 151 saves for the Bruins this season.
• Peyton Patterson, Lancaster, sophomore striker made the All-Region team after scoring 23 goals and providing 14 assists.
• Cassidy Parker, Fort Mill, senior striker was named the Region 3-4A Player of the Year. Parker has signed with Limestone to play soccer, and will play in the Clash of the Carolinas All-Star game.
• Bailey Rich, Fort Mill, senior was Parker’s strike parter up front for the Yellow Jackets and an All-Region selection.
• Shalyn Dougherty, Indian Land, senior drew the curtains on a great career at Indian Land by earning her third All-State selection after scoring 28 goals and adding 11 assists. Dougherty, who signed to play at Limestone, was also selected to the North-South all-star game and was selected to the All-Region team for the fourth straight season.
• Katherine Kilroy, Indian Land, sophomore was named All-State for the second straight season after scoring eight goals and providing 12 assists. Kilroy was also named All-Region for the second year running.
• Shelly Restificar, South Pointe, senior striker scored 21 goals and dished out seven assists en route to her second consecutive All-Region selection. Restificar, who has signed with Brenau University (Ga.), was also named the South Carolina Coaches Association for Women’s Sports Class 4A Player of the Year for the entire state.
Second team• Emma Maddox, Nation Ford, All-Region junior midfielder scored 14 goals and assisted 10.
• Mahogany Fisher, Lewisville, senior keeper will play in college at South Carolina State.
• Brooke Ward, Nation Ford, All-Region junior forward scored nine goals, assisted 14.
• Mahogany Setzer, York, sophomore defender was named All-Region.
• Bailey Penegar, Indian Land, sophomore defender scored two goals and added an assist, while earning All-State honors.
• Sarah Bergin, Northwestern, junior defender started every game for the Trojans and was named All-Region.
• Grayson Chappell, South Pointe, junior scored seven goals and assisted on 15 for the Stallions.
• Jenna Koster, Fort Mill, senior defender was named All-Region.
• Sam Petit, Rock Hill, senior goalie was named All-Region.
• Sierra Bell, Rock Hill, freshman midfielder scored 13 goals for the Bearcats.
Marley Landrum, Rock Hill; Libbey Dewey, Fort Mill; Maddi Blaschke, Fort Mill; Emma Gladu, Indian Land; Kelsey Groll, Indian Land; Brooke Humphrey, Lancaster; Mary Sizemore, Lancaster; Alex Pletiniewski, Clover; Cori Erwin, Clover; Cameron Davis, South Pointe.