Reavis, Auvil a dominant pair for Mustangs soccer
Adriene Reavis knew things were going to be different when East Lincoln High’s soccer season started on March 1.
Coming off a 12-0 run to the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference title in 2011, the Mustangs have a target on their backs. Wins were expected to be more difficult to obtain.
They expected to run together this year, but have been pleasantly surprised.
“As far as (team) dynamics go, we’ve been able to gel more than last year,” Reavis said. “That’s been something that’s helped us win games.”
So has East Lincoln’s youth invasion.
Sophomore central defender Tatum
Auvil teamed with Reavis early in the season to make a formidable duo. Reavis is the Mustangs’ top scoring threat, while Auvil commands East Lincoln’s defense.
East Lincoln coach Jason Dragoon said the Mustangs’ solid balance between offense and defense is a big reason the team won seven of its first nine conference games.
“At the forefront of that has been Adriene and Tatum,” Dragoon said. “Adriene is scoring against good teams to win games for us. She’s one of the best, most talented players I’ve ever coached. Tatum as a center back has that same (kind of potential).”
What sets those two apart even more from others, Dragoon said, is their work ethic.
“Adriene has really stepped up as a vocal leader this season,” Dragoon said. “She’s taken command of the team more than ever and girls listen to her. They know she knows what she’s talking about. Tatum isn’t as vocal as Adriene, but she’s young.”
Auvil said she has a different leadership method.
“I let the way I play (do the talking),” Auvil said.
Like her teammates, it’s spoken volumes about the Mustangs’ improvement.
East Lincoln seldom scored more than five goals in a game in past seasons.
They’ve scored six or more three times this season.
“If you look back at the last 11 years,” Dragoon said, “as good as we’ve been – we’ve been in the top 10 in the final rankings at least five times and won six conference championships – we’ve never had a high-scoring offense. Ever.”
Last year, Reavis – who set the school record for single-season goals with 24 – accounted for nearly half of East Lincoln’s 53 goals. Reavis scored her 16th of this season April 17 in a 7-4 victory over SPC rival Lincolnton.
If Dragoon wanted Reavis to score 40 goals, she probably could. But that’s not Dragoon’s coaching style.
“You’ve got other schools who have 35-goal scorers, but I attribute our numbers to (the fact that) when we go up 5-0, we’re off,” Dragoon said. The Mustangs scored 44 times in their first 18 games in 2012.
“Adriene had two goals and two assists in the first six minutes of play against West Lincoln (on March 21),” Dragon said. “Then I took her out. We’re not looking to individually buff statistics, but she’s still done that. I think that gives it (more) legitimacy.”
The numbers are nice for the record books, but they don’t matter to Reavis. She won’t continue her career at the collegiate level, despite getting offers from colleges. As a senior, this is Reavis’ last chance at a Class 2A state championship.
Auvil is on the opposite end of the spectrum. She plans to play Division I soccer after she graduates in 2014.
Her age might keep other varsity coaches from putting her in a lead role, but Dragoon said Auvil’s talent shouldn’t languish on the bench.
“Tatum flies under the radar more than Adriene because Adriene is our scorer and she’s a senior,” Dragoon said. “But (Auvil’s) age isn’t a bad thing. At the club level, things might be different because there’s a bigger (emphasis) on age. But in high school, if you can play, you can play.”
Dragoon isn’t the only one who thinks Auvil can play. She was selected as an alternate to the Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region III camp this summer in Alabama.
“I was surprised when I found out I was named,” Auvil said.
An even bigger better surprise would be another East Lincoln title. Auvil said she wants to help send Reavis out a winner. It won’t be easy, but it’s nothing Reavis said the Mustangs can’t accomplish, no matter their motivation.
“We definitely can do it,” Reavis said. “It’s gonna take some work though.”