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North girls soccer wins district crown

Title is team’s second in a row, third in four years

February 12, 2020
By CJ HADDAD ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

It was all business for the North Fort Myers girls soccer program Friday night as they defeated Cape Coral 8-0 to notch back-to-back district titles -- their third in four years.

Senior standout and University of Arkansas commit Emilee Hauser scored five goals to lead the Lady Red Knights in the time-shortened match. Sophomore stud Michelle Horan added two of her own and assisted on three goals. Senior Taylor Metzger also netted a goal, while senior Makenzy Dupree tallied four assists in a dominant night for North.

Head coach Nick Erickson said the game plan heading into the match was to not stray from the identity the team has created all year which resulted in a 13-2-3 record and a No.1 District 5A-11 seed.

Article Photos

The North Fort Myers girls soccer team and coaches pose with the District 5A-11 championship trophy.


"Just play our game," Erickson said of his preparations. "We knew (Cape) would come out very intense to start off. We just felt that if we play our game that we're going to generate opportunities to score goals, and we did that. And the big thing is that we're finishing goals -- we're not missing opportunities."

The Lady Red Knights certainly did not miss any opportunities on the night, as Hauser got things rolling in just the third minute of the game, taking a beautifully headed pass into the box and finishing it with the left foot.

Hauser struck once again in minute 22, as Horan broke up the right sideline and centered it to Hauser running in stride, who then scorched the ball to the back of the net off of her right boot.

The hat trick came just eight minutes later, when Hauser took a break away opportunity towards the right goal post before shooting back towards the center of the net to put North up 3-0 in the first half.

"It was good. It was fun," Hauser said of the game. "It's always fun to play in a district game like that. I have been lucky to be in four of them -- this is our third win -- so it's just exciting to be able to share that with all of my teammates who I've been playing with for so long. It's a good feeling to have."

Horan scored the fourth North goal before the half and the Lady Red Knights picked up right where they left off coming out of the break.

Metzger opened up the scoring in the 47th minute and Horan netted her second less than a minute later.

Hauser then scored her fourth in minute 51 and then her fifth with more than 10 minutes left in regulation. The eight goal margin ended the game.

Hauser said the team came into the match with the right mindset.

"We had a goal," Hauser said of their preparation. "We knew what we were setting out to do and we were just trying to get there to achieve it. So, I was going to do my best to do my part and help out with that goal."

North dominated ball control for nearly the entirety of the match, their defense not allowing any counter attacks from Cape Coral and continuously moved the ball forward.

"The game is easy when you can play in the other half," Erickson said. "Our pressing is hard to match with some of the athletes we have. And you top that off with as technically gifted of a group we have in the back -- it's fun. They did a great job."

Erickson is well aware of the talented bunch surrounding him and is grateful for the results they have produced so far this season and into the playoffs.

"We've got some talent," Erickson said. "We're very fortunate, we're very blessed that we have two kids -- in an attacking sense -- that are as special as those two (Hauser, Horan) kids are. They make a lot of it look easy when it's not that easy. They're great players."

Players can be great individually, yes, but a group of talented athletes working together will always come out on top over those playing for themselves. That's what Hauser believes can be the difference for North.

"I've played with 'Mak' (Dupree) since I was 10, so I've had really great chemistry with her for a long time," Hauser said, while telling Dupree she loved her from afar. "Michelle (Horan), we've come to know each other and how we play. We've been building off of that and it's worked out really well, especially over the past season."

Erickson said this is the best time for his group to be delivering their top performances.

"We've got a really, really good team that, now that they're healthy, is peaking and it's fun to watch," Erickson said.

So what's next for this group as they are now the No. 2 seed in their region heading into the 5A state tournament?

"Win, win, win, win, win," Erickson said was the message going forward. "One hundred percent (effort). Everybody's our Super Bowl, that's how we're looking at it. Every game is our Super Bowl. We want to get to a final four, we want to get to a state championship game -- something that's never happened here before. We can do that with this team. If we play like we did tonight, regardless of whoever we're playing, I think our chances are going to be good."

North takes on Barron Collier Tuesday night at home at 7.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter : @haddad_cj



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