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GIRLS' SOCCER: York Catholic's Johnson reaches 100-goal milestone for her career

PATRICK STROHECKER
YorkDispatch

It hasn't even been a week since Dover High School's Brooke Firestone reached the 100-goal mark in girls' soccer action, and she already has more company in the exclusive club.

On Monday night, York Catholic's Liz Johnson joined Firestone in the illustrious group, scoring three goals in the first half to achieve the feat. Her goal-scoring prowess helped the Irish defeat Hanover,10-0.

"Of course, it's something that, as I began my varsity season, it was something that was on my mind," Johnson said. "I've always wanted to get 100 goals, and definitely with this team supporting me, it was possible, so I want to attribute the goals to my team."

Johnson also added an assist in the 10-goal first half for York Catholic.

On the year, Johnson has 26 goals, scoring in all but two of the Irish games.

York Catholic head coach Joe Nattans has only been with the program for two years, but in that time, he's come to learn just how special a player Johnson is.

"She is the perfect coach's player," he said. "She works hard in preseason, during the season and in games. She's the ultimate leader and brings everyone up to her level by her effort and her attitude and is a great mentor for the younger players."

Nattans has seen his fair share of talented players over his coaching career. He's coached at various levels, including with club programs, but admits that he's rarely had the chance to coach a player of Johnson's caliber.

"She's definitely the best player that has come through York Catholic, for sure," he said. "And as far as my coaching, she's definitely the most skilled and most determined player I've coached and I've coached at several levels of soccer."

To reach a milestone such as 100 goals, it takes a special player, one who has the talent to play a full four-year career at the varsity level. For Johnson, it didn't take her long to crack the lineup as a freshman, making her varsity debut only a few games into her rookie season.

Since then, she's only improved and displayed her talents, scoring 74 goals through her first three years with the Irish. She was named the York-Adams Division III Player of the Year in 2014.

Along the way, she attracted interest from various colleges, verbally committing to play at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

When Johnson first began playing for York Catholic, it was always a goal of hers to try to reach the 100-goal mark. But, at the time, it was more of a pipe dream than anything else.

"Of course, it was always in the back of my mind to strive to get 100 (goals) because it is such a great milestone," she said. "But, no I didn't think I'd ever reach it."

OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER

Central York 3, Red Land 2: At Red Land, Bre Sgrignoli scored all three Panthers goals in the non-league victory. Bri Hackos added an assist, while Olivia Johnson made nine saves to get the win in goal. Central led 3-0 at the half and held on for the win.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker.