Sophomore emerges as leader for 2014 Lady Dragons

Posted Monday, Jul. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When she began preparing for the 2013 girls soccer season, Grace Cory sensed the opportunity to make an impact.

Given the traditional extraordinary depth Carroll has had in this program, it would make you scratch your head as to why a freshman forward would think that. But Cory grew up watching Carroll play, knew the style and talent, and still believed there was a chance.

“I know nothing was guaranteed and I went out there and proved myself,” Cory said. “I just wanted to work hard. I’ve always enjoyed soccer.”

Not only did Cory crack the varsity roster, she made the starting lineup and turned into the team’s second-leading scorer. The Lady Dragons advanced to the Class 5A state championship game in April before falling to Plano West.

Still, Cory didn’t play like a wide-eyed newbie. In fact, she turned into arguably the most clutch player on the team. When she scored, it usually mattered. Of her 17 goals, seven were game-winners. The biggest was the one that helped the Lady Dragons knock off Flower Mound Marcus in the Region I championship game and advance to the state tournament.

This summer, a more confident Cory is enjoying a pretty solid summer with her club soccer team, the Dallas Texans, which is an Elite Clubs National League squad. Last weekend, the team competed in a national tournament in Richmond, Va. The tournament featured the nation’s top eight programs. The Texans were playing for third place on Monday after splitting its first two matches. The Texans also played in a regional tournament in Aurora, Colo., earlier this summer.

Admittedly, when Cory made the varsity, she just hoped to make some contributions so she could find her place. That could have meant scoring a couple of goals and mixing in a couple of assists. When she made the starting lineup, she appeared to work really well with Carroll’s two center midfielders, Julia Dyche and Meghan Murphy.

“It was a great year and I was really blessed to be working with two great players,” Cory said. “They really made it easy for me with a bunch of good balls. I just had to finish them.”

The electric start to her varsity career has drawn some interest from Division I schools. Cory said she’s talked with Texas and Baylor and hopes to take unofficial visits to each school soon.

But 2014 will feature virtually a new roster. Carroll lost 14 seniors off that 30-3 team. It will be coach Matt Colvin’s charge to blend new faces with the veterans to maintain the high standard. The hunger of just missing out on bringing hardware back to Southlake will serve as enough motivation.

Cory said she sees herself more in a leadership role. But then again, so does Colvin.

“Grace, as well as all of our underclassmen, was fortunate to have experienced this year under the guidance of the senior class,” Colvin said. “Grace’s commitment the program and her work rate in training helped her have an amazing freshman year. I expect to see Grace continue with incredible offensive output and more leadership as a sophomore.”

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