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Eleven Lady Pioneers honored
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If the dominance of the Warren County High School soccer team hasn’t shown on the field, it was evident when the District 6-AAA coaches got together to vote for awards.
Junior Ansley Mullican received District 6-AAA MVP honors, while junior Morgan McCormick was named midfielder of the year and senior Kimberly Warden won the defensive player of the year award.
Eight other Lady Pioneers earned all-district recognition after Warren County won the regular-season title with a 7-1 record.
Mullican and McCormick swapped awards from a year ago, when McCormick was named MVP as a sophomore and Mullican won the midfielder of the year award.
Mullican made a huge leap in scoring as a junior, moving her goal total from 11 last year to a team-leading 24 this season. Mullican also led the Lady Pioneers with 14 assists.
Always a threat to score from anywhere on the field, Mullican had two hat tricks in district play. Mullican scored three times against Cumberland County at home and duplicated the feat against White County.
Coach Todd Willmore agreed with the district coaches in honoring Mullican.
“Ansley has had an outstanding season. She’s played really well all year,” said Willmore.
After winning the MVP award following a 26-goal sophomore season, McCormick came back to score 20 goals and hand out 12 assists for the Lady Pioneers this season.
McCormick has had big games this year, especially when the Lady Pioneers have stepped out of district. McCormick scored three goals against Ooltewah to power Warren County to a victory and added two second-half goals last week when the Lady Pioneers rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie Soddy Daisy 5-5.
McCormick has been the consistent performer coach Willmore expected coming into the season.
“Morgan has moved around and helped us in a lot of areas. She’s a great scorer,” said Willmore.
Warden was a jack-of-all-trades for the Lady Pioneers during the regular season. Asked to fill a number of roles, the senior performed to the peak of her abilities to help Warren County earn its first outright district title under coach Willmore.
Warden’s impact oftentimes goes unseen, but coach Willmore believes her play is a catalyst for what makes Warren County successful.
“Kimba is a versatile player who does many of the little things that open up the rest of her teammates,” said Willmore. “I’m excited for her and for everybody who received recognition. I think it was well deserved.”
Seniors Lyndi Dodd, Lauren Roller and Maddie Smartt, along with junior Taylor Mullican, each were named first-team All-District 6-AAA. Seniors Ashlyn Anish, Ayla Anish, Annie Willmore and Rayah Kirby were recognized on the second team.
In district play, Warren County allowed just eight goals in eight games and Dodd was a big reason why. Dodd recorded three shutouts this season in district as the Lady Pioneer keeper.
Roller was an offensive standout during the regular season as the senior midfielder scored 11 goals and added seven assists. Roller scored two goals in a game four times this season, including finding the mark twice on senior night against Coffee County.
Smartt was the team’s third-leading scorer with 12 goals. Smartt was at her best when the Lady Pioneers suited up against Coffee County and White County as she scored four goals against each team this season.
Taylor Mullican had the unenviable task of replacing Joanna Paz, who was an all-district performer on defense the past two seasons, but the junior speedster became one of the most dominant defensive players in the district by the end of the season.
Willmore, Kirby and Ashlyn Anish were also a big part of the strong Warren County defense, while Ayla Anish chipped in on offense this season with five goals and four assists.
The Lady Pioneers hoped to add a tournament championship to their collection of accolades this week. Warren County opened play in the District 6-AAA tournament last night against White County. Results were unavailable at press time.
The championship is scheduled to be played tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Warren County High School.