Brianna Wills is now in the record books. The Davidson Day junior's 58 goals this season broke the Mecklenburg County single-season scoring record, which had stood at 55 since 1998.
Wills said that breaking the record will be something she'll always remember.
"It was awesome," the 17-year-old said. "The feeling when I scored the goal to beat it was just incredible ... Looking back to the beginning of the season, I would've never thought that this could happen."
The forward scored a goal in every single game this season for the Patriots, as she led her team to the second round of the NCISAA 1A playoffs before the team fell to Wilson's Greenfield School last week.
Never miss a local story.
Wills said her ability to score goals is almost natural to her, having played striker nearly her entire life. She enjoys the position because of "the glory" that comes along with it.
Davidson Day girls' soccer coach Chad Metzler, who also coaches his star player at the Lake Norman Soccer Club, said he knew Wills would score this season but not to the extent she did.
He was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the way Wills did this year.
"I think she's one of the best forwards in the state in terms of having that ability to score," said Metzler.
"Scoring goals is not necessarily a technical ability - it come from that - but there's something special about players who can put the ball in the back of the net - it's something that's really hard to teach."
Metzler explained that Wills' speed contributed to her success. But her talent is what allowed her to make so many goals for the Patriots.
"She's strong on the ball and keeps the ball on her feet under pressure," he said. "This year, she really started developing the ability to slash through players."
That was a must, especially as the season went on and opponents started to zero in on Wills, constantly guarding her with three or four players.
"She had to play more with her back to the goal more, and she had to start working to come back to receive balls back in our end. In a lot of chances, she had to take it 30-, 40-, 50-plus yards under pressure," said Metzler.
Wills said she had to quickly learn how to combat her newly acquired extra-defensive focus.
"Pushing through and learning new things - new ways to run to the goal instead of running straight down, for example - has helped me find new ways to score," she said.
Metzler explained that Wills has come to develop that ability very well.
"With her having to deal with so much pressure, it's just making her a stronger player even at the higher levels," said Metzer.
Wills has also put a lot more emphasis on hitting set pieces. Metzer said she was able to develop that to the point that this season she scored about 10 goals off of set pieces - half of them from free kicks.
Wills said she was able to build up on that facet of her game because of newly found confidence.
"That would always make me really nervous," she admitted.
Wills' presence on the field for Davidson Day has been huge. The team did not win a single game last year in its inaugural varsity season. Metzer said the team maybe scored 12 goals the entire year.
Wills finished the season averaging 3.2 goals per game this year.
This season the team went 10-7-1 (3-4-1 in the Southern Piedmont Athletic Association) and finished second in its conference.
Wills transferred to Davidson Day from Pine Lake Prep, a school that didn't have a high school soccer team. She arrived in November in an effort to better prepare herself to achieve her goal - to play soccer in college.
"It was one of the best decisions I've made," said Wills.
With a year still left as a Patriot, Wills has high goals for herself and for her team.
The young team will have all of its key players back with Wills and her best friend and fellow first-team all-conference player, Katy Leonard. Olivia Barder, who is currently a ninth grader, will also return.
Wills hopes to score even more goals in 2011.
"I'm definitely trying to break the record next year."