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Panthers' Harrover soaks up the game

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Abby Harrover is truly a student of lacrosse.

Lakeside junior Abby Harrover converted 61 percent of the shots she attempted and scored 60 goals in 14 games for the Panthers, who made the state playoffs for the second year in a row.   Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Lakeside junior Abby Harrover converted 61 percent of the shots she attempted and scored 60 goals in 14 games for the Panthers, who made the state playoffs for the second year in a row.

She goes off to camps. When she's not off training or practicing in her spare time, she's watching games live or footage of past games.

"I watch a lot of lacrosse outside of just practice, so I know what is supposed to happen," Harrover said. "I know what it's supposed to look like, where a lot of girls haven't seen it played like that before."

The Augusta Chronicle All-Area Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year put her vast research to full use this season. In doing so, she helped Lakeside to the Class AAAA state playoffs for the second year in a row.

For her opponents, an end to her strong season provided no solace. That's because Harrover was only a junior.

The most astounding statistic for Harrover was her shooting percentage: she made 61 percent of the shots she took. It helped her to score 60 goals in just 14 games.

Lakeside coach Courtney Hatcher noted that scoring was just one of the versatile player's strengths. She also secured 53 ground balls and 56 draw controls, particularly vital because the team with the most possessions typically comes out ahead.

"She has an uncanny ability to get the ball in her stick," Hatcher said of Harrover. "She picks up ground balls and draw controls. She might be the best I've seen at that."

In her team's regular season-ending game against Columbia County rival Greenbrier, Harrover had arguably her best performance of the season. She scored six goals in a 13-8 victory that avenged an earlier regular-season loss.

The win helped Lakeside secure a No. 3 seed after the Lady Panthers had a No. 4 seed the year before. In the first round, they fell 21-6 to Johns Creek.

"I just really want to be a (No.) 1 or 2 seed out of our region," Harrover said of next season's goals. "We're a really young team right now, so that gives us kind of an edge."

Unlike some top players, Harrover has only been playing for a few years.

There's no doubting her talent, especially after her most recent honor.

She tried out for, and made, the Southeast team for the National All-American Lacrosse Classic in Germantown, Md. She'll be among the top 300 high school underclassmen lacrosse players in the country competing in the July 5-8 showcase game.

"Abby is just a natural," Hatcher said.

Get to know Abby Harrover

Favorite sports memory: At a University of Virginia lacrosse camp, she scored against the school's starting goalie

FAVORITE ATHLETE: Spanish soccer star Carlos Puyol

FAVORITE TEAM: FC Barcelona

BEST ADVICE IN SPORTS OR LIFE: "Go forth and do great things"

FAVORITE CLASS: History

ABOUT THE SERIES

SUNDAY: Soccer

TUESDAY: Track

WEDNESDAY: Golf

TODAY: Lacrosse

FRIDAY: Tennis

SATURDAY: Softball

SUNDAY: Baseball


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