The girls’ soccer team at West Mecklenburg has scored 41 goals this season. Junior forward/midfielder Jazmin Featherstone has recorded 27 of them.
“Even when we go to play, say, Providence or other stronger teams in our conference, they all know you need to mark Jazmin,” Hawks coach Ashley Yewcic said of the school’s all-time leading scorer. “They all know. Teams try to double-team her, triple-team her. It’s no secret with our team.”
In 11 games, Featherstone has had a season’s worth of goals. She has 71 for her career, well past the former school record of 54.
“I’m very proud of myself for that,” said Featherstone, 17. “I keep myself humble, but I’ve been playing forever. I’m really hard on myself and keep pushing myself to get better and better. I just try to be above average.”
West Mecklenburg’s progam isn’t considered a power in North Carolina. The school has made but 10 playoff appearances in school history and never won in postseason.
And, as for Featherstone’s school record, it isn’t close to cracking the all-time career leaders list. At least 15 N.C. girls have scored more than 150 career goals. Charlotte Catholic’s Jane Cline, who scored 181 from 2010-13, is Mecklenburg County’s all-time leader among players who compete in public-school leagues.
But Featherstone certainly has to be considered one of her school’s greatest players. According to MaxPreps, a national high school statistics site, she ranks No. 1 in scoring this season in the Observer’s coverage area and is No. 6 among statewide leaders.
“My mom started me out with the boys when I was 4,” Featherstone said. “We would go outside and play football, basketball. But soccer was the sport she really put me into, playing on teams. I took off from there. I had a natural talent for the game.”
At 5-foot-3, Featherstone has excellent speed, Yewcic said, and can score from the sideline or in the middle of the field, often having to elude defenders tasked with stopping her. She’s also developed powerful kicks with either foot in helping the Hawks (4-7, 2-3) position themselves for a rare playoff berth. West Meck is on pace to better last season’s 6-13-1 record.
“She’s a leader,” Yewcic said. “The girls look to her – and everybody believes in her – with her scoring power, to do what she’s supposed to do. Speed is her strength as well as the moves she has. She goes down the middle most of the time, but she can score from outside.”
Featherstone scored five goals in Tuesday’s 9-0 win against Harding. According to the N.C. High School Association record book, that’s the third-highest total for a Mecklenburg County girl, a mark that’s shared by several players.
Yewcic believes Featherstone has more games like Tuesday’s ahead of her.
“At the rate she’s going,” Yewcic said, “she should be well over 100 goals by the end of her career.”
Turns out scoring 100 goals is one Featherstone’s goals.
“By the time I graduate I don’t want anybody to break my record,” she said. “Ever. I want to make it hard, where they would have to really earn it.”
Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
Area girls’ soccer scoring leaders
Mary Elliott McCabe