Natalie Johnson was surprised when she received noticed of her big news.
Despite missing a few games, Havelock’s senior was selected to the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association 3A all-state and all-region teams.
“I am really excited and grateful to be picked again since I was out for some games this season,” said Johnson. “I was pretty surprised that I got selected again.”
Johnson, an Old Dominion University signee, earned the honors for the second year in a row.
“This one feels good considering it’s the last year I will ever play high school soccer,” Johnson said. “I don’t know how to describe it, other than it feels pretty good.”
The Rams’ forward/midfielder scored six goals, but sat out seven games because of a partial tear in her quad tendon. In four varsity seasons, Johnson scored 55 goals. She netted 19 as a freshman, 15 as a sophomore and 20 as a junior.
In April, during spring break, Johnson was selected to be part of the Region III Olympic Development International team, which allowed her to play games in Italy and Switzerland.
“It feels great. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in my soccer career,” Johnson said.
Johnson was also invited to play in two all-star soccer games this summer – the Clash of the Carolinas and the East-West All-Star game.
She said she will play in the Clash of the Carolinas on July 12 at Blackbaud Stadium in Daniel Island, S.C., near Charleston. That all-star match pits the best girls’ soccer players from North Carolina against the best from South Carolina.
“I’m excited. I’m expecting really good competition,” Johnson said. “It’s the best from North Carolina and South Carolina, so it’s going to be fun playing in it.
“I can’t wait.”
Johnson leaves for Old Dominion on June 27, but will be allowed to come back to play in the Clash of the Carolinas where she will compete with and against some of her teammates from the Olympic Development Program.
“It’s a great way to top off my senior year since I missed out on some things,” Johnson said. “I’m hoping to win the ball in the air, control the middle, help distribute and make assists.”
Johnson will not play in the East-West All-Star match in Greensboro on July 22.
Adam Thompson is a reporter for the Sun Journal.