Amanda Lavook first learned the game of soccer from her father, Rob, when she was just 4 years old. Ever since, Lavook has been putting the ball in the back of net.
Twelve years later, the Mount Pleasant junior has developed into one of the best young players in the conference and state.
The 16-year-old has been a standout since nearly the day she walked onto the Mount Pleasant campus. Lavook scored 35 goals her freshman season and followed that up by exploding for a school-record 46 goals last season, earning All-South Piedmont conference honors in the process.
"Scoring is just something that has always come natural to me," said Lavook. "When I get the ball I turn and see the field and I just go. I really don't think a lot. I guess my instinct and body just take over and do the rest."
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Lavook has already scored 27 goals in her first 10 games. Lavook has at least a hat trick in each game this season, excluding a 2-1 loss to Cox Mill March 24.
While Lavook takes a lot of pride in her ability to put up eye-popping numbers, she also wants to win. That's something that her Tiger team is starting to do on a regular basis.
Mount Pleasant is off to one of its best starts in recent history at 8-1 overall, including 2-1 in the SPC (as of March 31). A big reason why is new coach Kelly Williams, who Lavook said has breathed new life into the Tigers.
"I think this team is just starting to believe it can be a great team," said Lavook. Mount Pleasant, which went a respectable 11-10 (7-7 in the SPC) before losing in the first round of the playoffs to Charlotte Catholic, are looking for much more this season.
"We would love to see them go all the way or as far as they can -that is what every coach wants," said Williams, who took over for former Tiger coach Mike Buckpitt. "First, we hope to (contend) for a conference championship and go from there."
The Tigers are in the thick of the SPC race, trailing only Jay M. Robinson and Cox Mill in the standings (as of March 31).
If Mount Pleasant is going to win consistently in the big games, a lot will be on the feet of Lavook, who has established herself as one of the top offensive weapons in the state. Williams thinks she can handle the pressure.
"Amanda thrives under pressure," she said. "When she sees the goal, it's like everyone moves out her way. Then, her main objective is to put the ball in the back of the net. Obviously, she does that a lot."
Williams know the Tigers will also need contributions from other people like senior Casey Enderlein and sophomore Hannah Cruse, who work well together in the midfield controlling the field and organizing the offense.
While Williams is focused on her team as a whole, she knows exactly what she has in Lavook, even if her star forward doesn't quite know it herself.
"is a phenomenal talent, but I think she can get even better," said Williams