Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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February 14, 2014

HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Paying it forward

Lawyer sets career assists record at Athens

Athens — The game of soccer is one where teamwork can pay dividends for a team winning a game or falling short during the season.

For the Athens Lady Hornets, senior center midfielder Gabby Lawyer can now see her name etched in the school’s record book for soccer as she is the career leader in assists with 23.

Lawyer broke the previous record of 20 assists — set by Samantha Harris — on Tuesday night in the Lady Hornets 6-0 District 31-4A opening win over the John Tyler Lady Lions on Tuesday night at Bruce Field.

During that match, she finished with four assists and said she did not even know about the record until Hornets soccer coach Jonathan Ryal mentioned it to her in conversation.

Lawyer is looking to add to her total tonight as the 5-5-3 Lady Hornets travel to Whitehouse for a varsity contest at 7 p.m.

They are currently undefeated in District 31-4A soccer with a 2-0 record.

Harris had a 14 assist season in 2010 and capped off her 2011 season with six more assists under former coach Dedra Jackson.

Lawyer had seven assists in 2011, six assists in 2012 and four assists in 2013.

“It has been a big deal for me and to beat Samantha — who was like my big sister and my best friend — it was like I have beaten your record,” Lawyer said. “I feel like now I want to make it to where no one else can beat it.”

First-year coach Skip Stevens said Lawyer knows when to make the right types of passes during games to find the open player.

“When she has the ball at her feet, she passes the ball really well,” Stevens said. “In her game, she can do the through ball and she does a good job with that.”

Lawyer said before the Lindale game on Wednesday — in which she recorded a hat trick with three goals in the first half of their 4-2 win — that scoring goals was not her main focus.

“I guess it (the assist record) is a big deal because my main focus has been not scoring goals but passing,” Lawyer said. “I have wanted to make sure that we are getting great opportunities.”

Lawyer now has 36 career goals — which is second on the list behind Harris with 45 goals.

Lawyer had a 15 goal season during her sophomore campaign with the Lady Hornets.

She said with this being her senior year and having talented forwards in Makayle Traxson and Kyra Robison, her job becomes easier in terms of findings ways to pick up assists during games.

“I guess people would think that the main focus is I am going to score so many goals because it is my senior year,” Lawyer said. “I am focused on the fact that we are a team and if I have to pass the ball instead of score a goal, then I will do that.”

This season, she is third in goals scored with seven and first in assists with five.

Lawyer said seeing the talent level of Robison and Traxson scoring 23 of the teams 37 goals, it makes her excited to see what they bring to the field every game.

“It is good to know that I have people that I can rely on up top and I can make those passes to them,” Lawyer said. “I know for sure that they are going to get to those passes.”

Stevens said in terms of where Lawyer will finish on the assists record list, fans will just have to wait and see where she finishes her career.

“I don't know because one game she can have four assists and then she can go two-or-three games without any assists,” Stevens said. “That is just the way that soccer is and I don't know how it will stack up the rest of the way.”

Lawyer said after it was posted that she had broken the record, Harris sent her a message congratulating her on joining the record setting club.

“She said she was proud of me and if there was anyone to break it she wanted it to be me,” Lawyer said. “She also talked about how she thinks that Makayle is going to break her goal scoring record.”

Traxson is currently fifth on the scoring list with 14 goals in her freshman season.

Lawyer said with eight games remaining heading into their district contest tonight at Whitehouse, she still has one more goal to finish out her senior campaign.

“I want to be able to win the district championship and go into the playoffs this year,” Lawyer said.

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