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EAST-WEST ALL-STAR SOCCER PREVIEW: Defensive role works for Western’s Standafer

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Jenna Standafer’s spot on the back line for the Western Alamance girls’ soccer team turned out just right.

“You don’t typically choose defense, it gets chosen for you,” Standafer said. “I ended up really liking it.”

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Jenna Standafer

Because of her efforts, Standafer will be in Tuesday night’s North Carolina East-West All-Star Game at MacPherson Stadium in Browns Summit.

Standafer was part of a Warriors team that notched 12 shutouts in 2023.

While there aren’t individual statistics that necessarily define the impact of defenders, Standafer found her niche. Through time in club teams, she lined up at outside back and center back and that translated to her role with Western.

“That’s tough, for sure because I feel it gets overlooked,” she said. “At center back, you’re the quarterback of the soccer team. I like to be aggressive, and this is a good opportunity for this. You’re a leader. You’re talking every play even if you’re not part of it.”

As a senior, Standafer contributed four goals and three assists at the offensive end.

The Warriors posted an 18-3-1 record, with two of the setbacks to eventual Class 3-A state champion and in-county rival Eastern Alamance.

“The group of girls we had just really clicked on and off the field,” Standafer said.

She found out during the season about her selection to the NC East-West All-Star Game. It’s a send-off that marks the conclusion of her four-year varsity career as a starter.

“I really just want to make some new friends and learn from the players and the coaches,” she said. “It is sad (as it comes to a close). This is kind of a cool way to go out.”

Standafer, who suits up for the West team, will head to college at the University of North Carolina, intending to major in biology. She said she might pursue soccer on a club team or intramurals.

The girls’ game is set to start at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ showcase at 8:30.

Tyler Thompson of Williams is on the West boys’ team.

Tyler Thompson

Thompson, who received postseason all-state recognition, was among the anchors on the Bulldogs’ 20-2-2 team last year. He supplied 10 goals and three assists.

Thompson’s prep career included four seasons on the Williams varsity. He was a 2019 freshman when the Bulldogs won the Class 3-A state title.

Until he missed time as a senior because of an ankle injury, Thompson had a string of 77 consecutive starts for Williams.

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