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GIRLS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Callie Fagan, Forsyth Central

Callie Fagan scored more goals this spring herself than some of the teams that Forsyth Central competed against. Along the way, the junior learned that the success carries some drawbacks. 

Like when the Bulldogs played Lambert for the first time, and the Longhorns man-marked her, forcing Central to find other avenues of scoring. Fagan decided to just use the skills that made her such a high-priority target in the first place, but for less conventional means. 

“I just try to make them tired, so I just run around,” Fagan said. “So even if I’m not doing anything, I’m taking that player out of the mix.”

And when Fagan wasn’t man-marked, her speed and dribbling skills made her one of the county’s most dangerous scoring threats. The All-FCN Girls Soccer Player of the Year had 15 goals and three assists for the Bulldogs, and that production helped Central break out as a member of Class 7A, recording the best finish among county teams in the classification and reaching the second round of the playoffs. 

This wasn’t the first time Fagan had shown dangerous offensive ability — she scored 18 goals as a freshman, in Central’s last year in Class 5A. She replicated that performance as a junior, proving to be a dangerous threat on breakaways and crosses and forming a strong pairing with Bulldogs midfielders like Alexis Sherman and Jenna Uldrich. 

And while she admitted that the new girls Development Academy level of club play had a role in the Bulldogs’ rise in the region — teams like Lambert and South Forsyth lost numerous talented players, while Central was largely unaffected — Fagan also saw improved chemistry contribute to Central’s rise. 

“We came together as a family this year,” Fagan said of the Bulldogs. “Everyone loved each other, and we played for each other.”

Fagan’s favorite goal from the season, interestingly enough, was distinct from the breakaways and finishes on crosses that she was dangerous with. In the first game against Lambert, a 4-0 win, she set and swung a cross in from well outside the box. Instead of finding a teammate, though, it went right into the goal. 

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, how did that go in?’” Fagan said.