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Girls Oct 07, 2012

WAGS Tournament: DeLoach, receiving interest from major programs, aims to take her play to next level

By Roger Gonzalez

Paige DeLoach, a soccer player from Bowie, Md., has been one of the players to watch this weekend at the 37th Annual WAGS Rael Vodicka Memorial Tournament.

“She is excellent with speed, making runs getting in behind the defense and has a nose for the goal,” said Mary Hearin, Freestate Storm Under-16 ECNL assistant coach. “Put her in the right spot at the right time, and she puts it in the back of the net.”

The talented junior has dazzled with technique and speed so far this tournament, providing many opportunities for her teammates and herself. After not scoring in the first game, she bagged a goal in her team’s second game on Sunday against SSA Chelsea of Georgia in U-16 Showcase play.

Her performances just adds to her hype and already impressive recruitment, because while she shined in attack, she also demonstrated her ability defensively, applying high pressure to keep defenders off balance. With Brown and a flurry of other Ivy League schools interested, in addition to Tennessee, the player made some scouts certainly take notice.

“I think I was better, more focused,” DeLoach said as opposed to the opener, where she felt out of sync. “I was trying to do more defensively as a forward. Trying not to let them out. I think just trying harder.”

With her focus on high school soccer as of late, playing an early game on Saturday, it was tough for her to get going.

“I don’t think I was prepared mentally,” she said.

But on Sunday, she was into it.

“Her ability to get in behind defenses,” Hearin said when asked what DeLoach does well. “Once she receives the ball, just to turn and go –the ability to one-touch and she is in on net.”

DeLoach knows that this showcase is a chance for her to get her name out even more and with performances like Sunday, that will surely happen.

“I’ve got good experience with these showcases. We’ve done a couple of tournaments like this,” DeLoach said. “I’m used to playing in front of college coaches. I get nervous sometimes. I get through it. I concentrate on the game.

“I think it’s a real good way to get your name out there. Before I thought about emailing coaches, I realized that this is really helpful.”

In the second game, more alert and more rested, she remembered what was important.

“I think it’s important to realize people are always watching you,” she said. “In our first game back together from high school, we were all stuck on the high-school mentality.”

With a nice bounce back from an uneventful first game, with a goal already on her accomplishment list for the tourney, she plans on adding to it on Sunday at Oak Marr field two at 9:45 a.m. against DC Stoddert Metros Blue 96.

The sky appears to be the limit, as she’s clearly a top-notch prospect. When asked if DeLoach was indeed an elite recruit, her coach didn’t say anything, she simply nodded her head violently.

Words couldn’t have said it better.

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