With its regular season drawing to a close, the Lake Norman Charter girls soccer team has begun to hit its stride. Heading into an April 27 contest at Hough, the Knights have won six of their past seven games.
At the forefront of Lake Norman Charter’s success is sophomore forward Rina Leonidas, whose 47 points (14 goals, 19 assists) lead the team. In addition to Leonidas’ game-changing exploits, freshman forward Riley Kane (12 goals) and sophomore midfielder Carolina Sanchez (10) have helped propel Lake Norman Charter to a 13-2 record.
While youth has led the way for the Knights on offense, the combination of freshman Kelsey Garrison and sophomore Carolyn Huddy in goal have enabled Lake Norman Charter to hold opponents to just five scores in 15 games. In that span, the Knights have scored 74 goals and shut out opponents in 12 of their 13 wins.
Garrison, the Knights’ primary goalkeeper, sports a .119 goals-against average and was Lake Norman Charter’s net-minder in 10 shutout victories.
In their most recent contest, Lake Norman Charter won a 2-1 matchup at Charlotte Country Day on April 13, with Kane and sophomore midfielder Leanne Smithers pacing the Knights with one goal each. Leonidas had both assists for Lake Norman Charter in the win, while Smithers’ five points in the past three matches garnered her team player-of-the-week honors.
“Leanne has played with an urgency to place pressure on opponents and not back down,” said Knights coach Justin Valenti. “She has worked hard…for everything she has gotten in the last few games. She has stepped up as a leader on a team when times have been tough.”