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Lacrosse preview: Marvin Ridge’s Collins sets eyes on ultimate prize

By Jay Edwards
Correspondent
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- Courtesy Sherry Stegall
Marvin Ridge’s Amy Collins celebrates during a 2013 game

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    Observer-area Girls’ Lacrosse Players to Watch

    Amy Collins, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: All-state attacker had 124 goals, 40 assists last year and believes she can be even better as a senior; Bucknell signee.

    Taylor Vaccaro, Lake Norman, Sr.: All-state attacker, Savannah College of Arts and Design signee (97 goals last season), wants to lead Wildcats to a 4A state title and has a lot of help with all-state talents like her younger sister, Carly, Roseanna Schiemer and Rachel Valocchi also in the fold.

    Cheyenne Burnam, Weddington, Sr.: Syracuse signee, all-state pick, following in brothers’, father’s footsteps on the field, netting 70 goals last season.

    Natalie Wallon, Charlotte Catholic, Jr.: All-state, All-American midfielder had a monster sophomore season with 99 goals but wants to her team to win it all after finishing as state runner-up last year.

    Kirsten Terry, Fort Mill, Sr.: Three-time all-state Yellow Jacket, Limestone signee holds school records for points, assists.

    Anna Comer, Charlotte County Day, Jr.: All-state Buc back to help defending NCISAA champions after her takeaway led to the winning goal in the 2013 title game.

    Grayce Anderson, Charlotte Latin, Jr.: Hawks’ all-state attacker looking for more after pouring in 83 goals as a sophomore.

    Observer-area Boys’ Lacrosse Players to Watch

    Carson Song, Charlotte Latin, Jr.: All-state midfielder back to lead two-time defending state champs after scoring 42 goals, including state final game-winner; 60 assists last year.

    Shane Gottberg, Lake Norman, Sr.: Another all-state midfielder, Lenoir-Rhyne commitment leads talented, state runner-up Wildcats team; won 75 percent of his faceoffs in 2013.

    Brendon McCarthy, Lake Norman, Sr.: Another big part of Wildcats’ team back as one of state’s best long stick midfielder (all-state pick); Mount Olive signee.

    Mitch Russell, Fort Mill, Sr.: Duke commitment , All-American, all-state pick back to lead state runner-up Yellow Jackets.

    Jason and Jonah Moore, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: Furman signees both all-state performers who are back to help a veteran Mavericks team contend for a state title.

    Mitch Renfrow, Providence Day, Sr.: Air Force signee, all-state goalkeeper keeps opponents out of the net with 263 saves last year.

    Ryan Beltrondo, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: All-state Cougar a lockdown defender with 84 groundballs, 75 takeaways; has several colleges interested, including Hampden-Sydney.



Amy Collins always is thinking about her next set of goals.

Even after scoring 124 goals – second-best in state history – and dishing out 40 assists as a junior, the reigning Charlotte Observer Player of the Year and all-state attacker believes she can be even better.

Collins, 17, said her goal is to score 200 points (combined goals/assists) this season, but her main focus is on bigger and better results for Marvin Ridge.

“This year my main goal is to win” the state championship, said Collins, noting her team is one of the early favorites to contend for the 1A/2A/3A girls’ title after getting to the 2013 state quarterfinals. “If that means scoring a lot, I’ll do it. If that means passing more and setting people up, I’ll do it. I’ll do whatever has to be done to help my team get there.”

Her father and Marvin Ridge coach, Doug Collins, said the pressure for Amy to score at the same rate won’t be a necessity, as the Mavericks look to have a more balanced attack this season.

Seniors like Clare Murphy (Virginia Commonwealth commitment) and Taylor Sweeney (Tampa commitment), who both had 40-plus goals last season, are the most experienced options, but juniors like Abby Joselyn and Jenna Rogers and even freshmen like Katie Atlas and Carter Williams should help make up a potent offense.

The Marvin Ridge defense also should be strong, with sophomore Allie MacWhorter leading the group.

“I feel like this is the best overall team we’ve had at Marvin Ridge, in terms of having so many girls that play year-round,” Doug Collins said. “I feel like we can be much more patient, and find the open player with the best shot three or four meters from the goal.”

While Marvin Ridge has a lot of good options, Amy Collins still is one of the most dangerous players in the state, with the ability to score a barrage of goals in a hurry. She hasa school-record 277 goals going into her senior year.

Collins had 14 goals during a win against Ardrey Kell, 11 in a victory against Cuthbertson and she scored eight or more in nine games.

While that makes her the target of every opposing defense, she doesn’t mind it.

“I just have a very competitive mindset on the field,” Collins said. “I actually like when people get physical or point me out or talk about me. I know I have to bring my ‘A’ game every time out.”

Collins is equally as talented in the classroom, where she boasts a 4.6 GPA, which combined with lacrosse talents, gave her the opportunity to sign with Bucknell during December.

Even when she takes her game and education to the next level, her goals will remain the same.

“My mindset is always to be the best at everything,” said Collins, whose goal is to be Patriot League Freshman of the Year at Bucknell. “I never want to settle for anything less than my best or just the best in general.”

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