By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy girls soccer coach Dustin Wheelock wanted Megan Norton to have a little more of a scorer's mentality this season. He wanted her to attack, beat her defenders and look to score a little more than last year. So far Wheelock is getting what he wanted.
Norton has definitely shown her scoring prowess, as the senior has helped lead the Patriots to a strong start this year.
"Megan is pretty much involved in everything we do offensively and defensively," Wheelock said. "She just has tremendous ball control. She can beat defenders off the dribble and create her own shot and move the ball around and keep other players involved as well."
Last week Norton certainly showed her ability to score and set up her teammates. In a 11-0 win over Wakefield Country Day on March 24, Norton had five goals and three assists. Four days later she had two more goals in a 2-0 victory over Shalom Christian (Pa.).
For her outstanding week, Norton is The Northern Virginia Daily's Female Athlete of the Week for the week of March 24-30.
Norton now has nine goals and four assists for the Patriots in just four games. Wheelock said he isn't surprised.
Last year Norton had a lot of talent around her and looked to pass the ball as much as she looked to score. With Jessica Crowley, Maddie Deason and Hannah McGann to pass the ball to, it's no wonder she enjoyed getting assist after assist -- she had 27. She also had 21 goals. With Crowley and Deason gone, Wheelock is happy to see Norton looking to score more.
"Last year she would beat a few defenders, attract some attention, and then find someone open at the net," Wheelock said. "Now we want her to beat those last one or two defenders a little bit more and look to score."
Norton, who is homeschooled, came to SVCA last year, and Wheelock said she has fit in nicely with the squad.
Wheelock said Norton is a special player, especially on offense.
"She just has a boatload of moves," Wheelock said. "She doesn't waste time, she tries to beat the defender and then she's gone. She's so explosive. She's very quick."
As a team, the Patriots went 2-1 last week. James Wood defeated SVCA 3-0 on Thursday, but the Patriots came right back with a road win against Shalom the next night.
"Shalom is a very tough team," Wheelock said. "I thought we did a very good job of taking what we learned from the James Wood game and applying it the next day and bouncing back."
Norton is off to a super start, and Wheelock said he thinks it's just the beginning of a strong season for the senior midfielder.
"I don't expect Megan to slow down," Wheelock said. "I expect teams to really focus on Megan, and I don't know how you couldn't. I think Megan has enough experience to overcome that. It's hard to stop what she does. I think she will continue to do the same things she's being doing for us."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd