Maxwell gar­ners statewide recog­ni­tion

■ She is the Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette’s All-Arkansas Preps girls soc­cer player of the year.

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - SPORTS - By Gra­ham Thomas Staff Writer gth­omas@nwadg.com ■

There were only three matches dur­ing her record-break­ing 2017 sea­son in which ju­nior for­ward Au­drey Maxwell didn’t score a goal for Siloam Springs girls soc­cer team.

Two of those score­less out­ings came against even­tual 5A state girls cham­pion Har­ri­son dur­ing 6A/5A District 1 play and the third came in the Class 6A semi­fi­nals against Ben­ton. But even if she didn’t score a goal Maxwell made an im­pact on how the game was played.

“She is able to at­tract your fo­cus, which opened up her team­mates,” Har­ri­son Coach Chris Pratt said of Maxwell. “At least that’s what hap­pened against us.”

With the Lady Gob­lins keep­ing a close eye on Maxwell, Siloam Springs sopho­more Laura Mo­rales scored a pair of goals and ju­nior Syd­ney Bom­stad added one as Siloam Springs won at Har­ri­son 3-2 on March 28. Then a few weeks later, ju­nior Me­gan Hutto scored a pair of goals and ju­nior Meghan Kennedy had an­other as the Lady Pan­thers beat Har­ri­son again 3-1 in Siloam Springs on April 14.

“I think Hutto was able to do her magic be­cause of the things Maxwell did,” Pratt added.

Maxwell found the back of the net in the rest of Siloam Springs’ games, scor­ing a sin­gle-sea­son school record 42 goals, record­ing 18 as­sists and lead­ing the Lady Pan­thers (24-3) to their fourth con­sec­u­tive Class 6A state cham­pi­onship.

Maxwell was all-state in Class 6A and scored a hat trick in a 6-1 vic­tory over Rus­sel­lville in the Class 6A state fi­nals to win her sec­ond con­sec­u­tive cham­pi­onship game MVP.

For her ef­forts, Maxwell is rec­og­nized as the Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette’s All-Arkansas Preps girls soc­cer player of the year.

“It’s funny, she had 42 goals, but I didn’t re­al­ize she had 18 as­sists as well,” said Siloam Springs Coach Brent Cren­shaw. “So 60 out of our 128 goals — al­most 50 per­cent she was di­rectly in­volved in. She’s only a ju­nior and next year she’ll have an­other chance to do more spe­cial things. I’m just happy for her be­cause I think in years past, there were some other play­ers that kind of had the spot­light, and Au­drey was al­ways the one putting in the work. She de­serves this recog­ni­tion.”

Maxwell fin­ished the sea­son with 13 mul­ti­ple-goal games,

in­clud­ing a four-goal out­ing and three hat tricks. She has al­ready orally com­mit­ted to play soc­cer at Rogers State, a Di­vi­sion II school in Clare­more, Okla.

Maxwell’s 42 goals broke the record of all-time Siloam Springs goals leader Sarah Kidd Vi­a­trov, who scored 27 of her 102 ca­reer goals in 2006.

Maxwell’s 18 as­sists also tied Vi­a­trov’s sin­gle-sea­son record for as­sists set in 2007, but team­mate Hutto has the new record of 22 as­sists this year.

“I couldn’t have achieved any­thing that I have with­out my team right by my side push­ing me and en­cour­ag­ing me all sea­son long,” Maxwell said. “I’m so hon­ored and I never thought I would get any­thing like [player of the year award]. It wasn’t even on my radar.”

Gra­ham Thomas/Her­ald-Leader

Siloam Springs ju­nior Au­drey Maxwell was named the Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette’s All-Arkansas Preps Girls Soc­cer Player of the Year for 2017. Maxwell scored a school record 42 goals and tal­lied 18 as­sists for the four-time state cham­pion Lady Pan­thers.

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