Magalis shows off her scoring touch

Erin Magalis

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando girls soccer coach Rob Kilmer nearly moved senior Erin Magalis from the forefront of the Warriors’ attack to the defensive back line prior to the start of the season.

Thinking that the arrival of John Handley High School transfer Melida Berrios would offer the Warriors enough firepower to accommodate the move, Kilmer approached Magalis — Sherando’s leading scorer from a season ago — to propose the idea of using her to shore up the defense.

“She was just like, ‘Coach, I can score goals,'” Kilmer said following Sherando’s 3-1 win over Woodgrove in the Conference 21 quarterfinals Tuesday evening. “I said you know what, let’s go with you up top again. So obviously, she saw the future. She’s a fortune teller, also. I’m glad I listened to her.”

Through 17 matches this season, Magalis once again leads Sherando’s offense with 16 goals and is the first Warrior to reach that mark since the 2010 season, according to Kilmer.

Magalis’ scoring ability reached its peak on May 13 against Skyline, as the senior scored four first-half goals in the Warriors’ 8-0 rout of the Hawks, becoming the first Warrior to score four goals in a game since 2002.

For her accomplishments, Magalis has been named the Northern Virginia Daily’s Female Athlete of the Week for May 10-16.

“I was just playing up top, I was playing middle and I was just getting the opportunities,” Magalis said of her career performance. “My teammates were playing me really nice balls and so I was just finishing them. I was just getting the opportunities so I was like hey, why not?

“I was surprised at how many I was getting but like I said, I give all the credit to my teammates,” she added.

Magalis has had goal-scoring outbursts before, but none like her four-goal performance. Responsible for all four of Sherando’s goals in the first half, Magalis scored in the seventh, 16th, 19th and 38th minutes.

Kilmer, who admitted that at the time he wasn’t aware Magalis had scored four goals, said the senior forward could’ve scored even more if not for a “classy” move on Magalis’ part.

“Erin [pulled] herself out of the equation,” Kilmer said. “Erin wasn’t like wow, I’m going to continue going on, I’ve got four. Erin all the sudden moved herself and put someone else in a scoring spot and she just started feeding other girls to get them [goals]. And it’s just like man, what a class act. She’s just pure class.

“She’s been an absolute dream player for four years,” Kilmer added. “She’s one of the hardest workers ever in the program. She’ll go down as one the greatest ever in the program. Just a fantastic girl.”

Following her exploits against Skyline and another one-goal performance on Tuesday against Woodgrove, Magalis leads the local area in goals scored. The senior credits her speed and her ability to stay composed once getting loose behind opposing defenses as a major boost to her scoring ability — most of her goals scored come during breakaways, she said — but her growth into the dangerous forward she is now actually began last spring.

“I think I’ve just gotten better because last year was my first year playing forward, so I was still new and getting used to it,” said Magalis, who scored 11 goals for the Warriors in 2014. “This year I think I’m just a lot more confident when I’m up there and I get the ball. I tell myself I can beat the defender, I can do this. So I think my mindset has gotten more positive and I think that’s really helped me along.”

With Magalis spearheading the attack, the Warriors — the third seed in the Conference 21 tournament — have won 11 matches this season and will take on No. 2 Heritage on the road Friday evening with a Region 4A North tournament appearance on the line. Magalis said in addition to reaching the regional tournament, Sherando has its sights set on making its first state tournament appearance in program history.

“That’s our ultimate goal, but we’re taking it one game at a time and preparing one game at a time,” she said.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com