Mayer makes mark on Person County

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Person High School soccer star Abby Mayer achieved another significant milestone on Thursday, March 12, when she scored her 100th career goal.

“It was overwhelming,” said Mayer. “I sat down with my parents freshman year and set that goal. I didn’t think it would happen. It was nice to have something to work for.”

Mayer is enjoying one of the most successful soccer seasons of any high school athlete in the country. According to MaxPreps, in 2020, Mayer is first in the country goals per game (five), and third in total goals scored (25).

It wasn’t until last year, when Mayer reacher 77 goals at the end of her junior season, that the 100-goal mark became a possibility.

“Hitting it last night was eye-opening more than anything,” Mayer said Friday in a telephone interview. “That showed me more than anything that hard work can pay off.”

Person opened up the season against the Vance County (1-5, 0-1) on March 4. In the March 12 rematch, Mayer expected Vance County to hold her in check.

“They knew my strengths, what it was going to be like playing against me,” said Mayer. “Knowing I was going to score my 100th goal before April, it would be that game.”

Mayer took advantage of double-teams in a variety of ways.

“That opens up my teammates,” said Mayer. “I can draw defenders away or use footwork to beat them. It’s nice to play with girls focusing on you because it opens up room for my teammates, who can drive in and score.”

Mayer scored her 100th goal on her sixth score of the game.

“Every shot, everyone thought this was it,” said Mayer. “On my actual goal – Haileigh Delafuente shot the ball, which bounced off a defender. I took another touch past the defender, and scored when I shot the ball with my right foot into the left side of the goal. The whole team and I were running to each other.”

After the game, Ward presented Mayer with a framed jersey, and Vance County came over to the sidelines, taking a picture with Mayer and her teammates.

“That made it so much more emotional and meaningful,” said Mayer. “They all were crying for me. It was amazing – it’s becoming more and more rare to see people who are genuinely happy for other’s successes. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”

Disappointment ensued the next day, as Mayer, sitting in her fifth period class, received word from her mom about the postponement of high school sports until Monday, April 6.

“I was starting at my phone for 10 minutes,” said Mayer. “I got very quiet – I didn’t talk to anyone, figured out what that meant for me and the team. It was hard because everything else that week was going perfectly.”

To ensure Person is ready for their season re-start on Tuesday, April 7, Mayer and her teammates will take the field on their own time.

“I think the best thing for us to do right now is use this time to work on our weaknesses,” said Mayer. “A lot of girls asked me if I would go to the field with them and teach them some things. We’ll practice by ourselves, do drills, and hopefully keep our touches.”

In the rematch, Mayer scored a career-high eight goals, garnering her first-ever NCSHAA Performance of the Week award.

“I was nominated by Coach (Jeremy) Clayton,” said Mayer. “Coach Lynn (Ward) told me I won the award after Tuesday’s game. That was probably the coolest award I’ve ever received.”

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