Carper named All-State

By on November 28, 2018
Senior Maddie Carper (right) became Manheim Central’s third girls soccer player ever to receive All-State honor

Senior Maddie Carper (right) became Manheim Central’s third girls soccer player ever to receive All-State honor

Up until this year, only two Manheim Central girls’ soccer players have ever earned All-State honors.

You can now make it three.

When the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association released its 2018 Female All-State Team early this week, senior midfielder Maddie Carper was on the list.

Carper is the first Lady Baron player to receive All-State honors since Kristen Hoffsmith in 2003. Melissa Lehman was also recognized in 1998.

“It’s definitely an honor that (Maddie) has earned over these last two years, and especially this year, to have taken (her game) to the next level,” Manheim Central coach Andrew Stoltzfus said.

In all, only three Lancaster-Lebanon League players were named All-State by the PSCA, including Ephrata senior Madison Root and ELCO senior Ryelle Shuey.

“Within the Section, we knew that Maddie Root and Maddie Carper were the two standout players,” said second-year MC coach Stoltzfus. “But then when you start looking at the entire League, we knew that there was a chance. The fact that they’re both on there speaks volumes to the strength of our Section, I think. We knew after last season, when Maddie was standout player for us as a junior, that if she could take it to the next step, that that was a possibility. And I think she really did.”

A two-time captain for the Manheim Central girls, Carper — who has committed to continue her career at Lebanon Valley College — moved from a defensive spot into the midfield prior to her junior season, and she excelled in her role.

In addition to tying junior Makenna Copley for the team lead in points (38) this fall, including 11 goals, Carper chipped into a defensive effort which yielded only 19 goals in 24 games, with 11 shutouts. Carper earned Second-Team All-Star honors in Section Two as a sophomore, then won back-to-back First-Team recognition as a junior and senior.

“She’s been instrumental both going forward on the offense,” Stoltzfus said, “but then also the stuff that doesn’t find its way onto the stat sheet, like organizing our defense and playing nearly 80 minutes a game or more, being a vocal leader on the field and in practice. It’s that kind of stuff that goes unnoticed in the score lines, but it is really what makes you an All-State player.”

So dangerous was Carper that, as Stoltzfus noted, if she was shooting from 35 to 40 yards out, there was a chance it was finding the back of the net.

“Maddie’s a player who, when she’s got the ball at her feet, she’s always thinking one step ahead,” Stoltzfus said. “You can kinda see Maddie kinda setting up her signature cut move, but no matter how much other teams have seen it, she always pulls it off. You can hear it from the other coaches that we play, any time she’s got the ball in the offensive half, they’re making sure their defense doesn’t let her shoot, but I don’t know if there’s another player that has such a wide range of shooting than she does.”

Carper, along with fellow seniors Brittany Benner and Kelli Kreider, finished their MC career two District Three titles. This past October, they found themselves in a battle against Lower Dauphin in the District semi-finals, but Carper and Co. were leaders in an eventual 2-1 victory.

“This was quite the accomplished group of seniors,” Stoltzfus said. “The whole way through the playoffs, they talked to the underclassmen before each game about taking this opportunity and not letting it slip by. There were points, especially in the semi-final game against Lower Dauphin, where we were kinda on the ropes, but it was our seniors that all kinda saw us through it and stepped up their game and forced everyone around them to do the same.”

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