Posted April 22, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

SVCA's Crowley named Athlete of the Week

Crowley, Jessica.jpg
Jessica Crowley

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

STEPHENS CITY -- Jessica Crowley was a little unhappy with herself during last week's 10-2 girls soccer rout of Middleburg Academy.

Early in the game, the Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy senior missed a penalty kick and it didn't sit well with her.

"At the start of the game I made a shot and then I missed a penalty kick, so I was kind of mad about that," Crowley said. "So I figured I really needed to step it up after that. I got in a couple shots and then I felt better about myself."

Crowley, The Northern Virginia Daily's Athlete of the Week for the week of April 14-April 20, kept scoring and scoring and scoring. She finished the game with six goals.

She had three in the first half, and three more in the second half, but said she wasn't even aware of it until she came out of the game.

"When I'm out there, I don't even realize how many goals I've scored or assists," Crowley said. "I just try to play as hard as I can when I'm out there. And when I came out they were all like, 'Six goals,' and I'm like, 'Oh, cool.' It doesn't stick in my mind how many goals I get because that's not a real big deal for me personally."

The six goals were just a part of the extraordinary week that Crowley had. In an 11-0 victory over Highland School on April 15, Crowley had two goals and two assists.

However, she saved her most important work for the last game of the week. In a 2-1 win over Shalom on April 18, Crowley had a goal and an assist.

Her goal in the first half helped the Patriots to a 1-1 tie at the half. In the second half, she made an assist to teammate Maddie Deason for the game-winning goal. SVCA girls soccer coach Dustin Wheelock said Crowley's knowledge of the game helped her get the assist.

"[Crowley] was able to draw defenders to her and she slipped a perfect pass to Maddie [Deason], which gave [Deason] one-on-one," Wheelock said. "And it was all set up by [Crowley] understanding what she needed to do to make the defense move."

In all, Crowley finished the week with nine goals and three assists, but Wheelock said he wasn't that surprised at the success Crowley had last week.

"It is pretty much how she's done all season," Wheelock said. "She hasn't had a six-goal game, but if there's a game that she doesn't score or get an assist in, it's an odd game. [The six-goal game] was a great day for her. She was really putting the ball in the net well. I think she was in the zone that game. She got some good passes from her teammates, and they were all good hard shots, all driven into the corner of the net."

Crowley said her favorite goal was the first one that she had against Middleburg Academy.

"I was facing the goal, I was in the upper-left corner of the 18 and I just cut it across," Crowley said. "I beat the defender and I kicked it and I turned my hips so it went near-post, and the goalie was expecting it to go far post. I wasn't even really looking at the goal. I just kind of shot it up there, but it was pretty."

The Patriots are 13-0 so far this season, including wins over public schools teams James Wood and Manassas Park. They've allowed a total of only six goals, and Crowley said it's been a memorable senior season so far.

"I knew we were going to have a good team this year," Crowley said. "I knew we had a tough schedule, so I knew we had to step up and play hard every game. And it's turned in our favor, and I'm very grateful."

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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