Lawman soccer player of the year
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After Winfield suffered its first loss this season, that's when Jayne Lawman really stood out.
"There were some things we let go that should have been taken care of as far as discipline that wasn't getting done,'' said Marshall Hoff, Winfield's 10th-year coach, of Morgantown's 1-0 victory over the Generals a few weeks before sectionals. "[Lawman] took it upon herself and called the problem to the front and got it taken care of.''
Behind Lawman's leadership, the Generals didn't lose again as they swept to their second consecutive Class AAA state championship earlier this month.
Because of that, Lawman was honored as the high school girls soccer player of the year and the captain of the AAA all-state first team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Lawman, who has verbally committed to Marshall, scored 23 goals from her forward position to pace Winfield (23-1-1). The junior, who netted 74 goals in three seasons, will enter her final season next year with a chance to break 100 career goals.
"I think the biggest thing was personally just stepping out,'' Hoff said of Lawman's naturally laid-back demeanor. "She's really taken on quite the role with the team.
"Not at first, because the biggest thing with Jayne, she carries a real humble spirit. As far as she's concerned she's just one of the 11 out there. She never really takes on that kind of boisterous mentality. She brings the most out of the ones around her. She's a joy to coach. Always smiling and continues to work hard.''
Winfield ended the year on an eight-game unbeaten streak. Lawman tallied four goals in the Generals' five postseason games, including one in the state championship matchup, a 2-0 win over Washington.
"When the games are the tightest or everything was on the line, she was able to perform at her best under those kinds of conditions,'' Hoff said. "A lot of athletes have trouble with that at a young age and it came easy to her. That's a gift.''
In addition to Lawman, Winfield also placed senior Micharae Thompson (midfield) and sophomore Kaylee Cross (defender) on the Class AAA all-state first team. George Washington also had a trio earn first-team honors in seniors Taylor Ellis (defender), who tallied 11 goals and is continuing her career at Division I Coastal Carolina next year, Rachel Mears (defender) and junior Olivia Miller (goalkeeper). GW only allowed 14 goals in 24 games, including five in the last 14 contests as it marched back to the state semifinals.
Hurricane juniors Abby Watson, a forward who turned in a team-high tying 26 goals, and Taylor Coalter (defender) were also on the first team.
Washington senior Kylie Nelson (goalkeeper) and sophomore Haelly Ramirez (midfield) were first-team picks after leading the Charles Town school to its first state title game appearance (and first state tournament trip) since opening in 2008.
Other first-teamers included Morgantown seniors Maggie Snively (forward) and Makayla Schmidt (midfield) and Shady Spring's Lyndsey Thompson (midfield).
The second team was led by Morgantown senior defender Mazie Cheesebrough, who was selected captain.
Winfield senior Braiden Maddox (goalkeeper), freshman Mary Lawman (forward) and sophomore M.E. Zulauf (midfield) were also second-team selections, as was Hurricane junior Lauren London (defender).
Maddox moved from the field to goalie for the first time this year. She showed her versatility by moving to the pitch at opportune times this season and scoring a handful of goals. Mary Lawman, Jayne Lawman's younger sister, made an immediate impact with 22 goals. Zulauf, who chipped in five goals, controlled the midfield for the Generals.
The other second-team goalkeeper was Jefferson's Shelbie Spencer. The rest of the forwards were Washington freshman Atley Fortney and Parkersburg South senior Kirsten Jones.
Hampshire senior Taylor Harwood, Woodrow Wilson senior Sarah Akers and Musselman sophomore Madison LaPole rounded out the midfielders. Filling out the defenders were Greenbrier East junior Erin Johnson and Wheeling Park senior Cece Jebbia.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.