Caroline Smith saved her best for last.
The Augusta Prep junior scored 20 goals and had five game-winners during the 2014 season. Her final two came in the final game of the year as the Lady Cavaliers (15-0-1) beat Stratford 2-0, winning the GISA Class AAA title.
For her outstanding play throughout the season, Smith was named the The Augusta Chronicle’s All Area Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“It’s been a dream, so it’s a dream come true, that’s for sure,” Smith said of the honor.
Winning the state championship was no less a dream come true for Smith, who scored both goals in the first half.
“I started crying after the first goal,” she said. “It was a happy emotional.”
Playing at a high level is something Lady Cavaliers’ head coach Tom Norton has seen his captain do for some time.
“Caroline obviously came in eighth-grade, like we can in private schools, and played and has been up front and scoring goals for us for years,” he said. “She’s very enthusiastic about soccer in general and the team, and has kind of inspired the girls with her love of it. She’s just always ready to go and always at a high intensity level when she’s out here practicing and giving her best and that’s what you need from your leaders, I think.”
The 5-foot-2-inch Smith, who has already verbally committed to Mercer, uses her size to her advantage.
“I like being crafty, trying more tight-space moves,” she said. “I’m definitely not so much power.”
Smith called Norton “an amazing coach. I think he was the biggest key to our winning.”