During a practice before the season, Havelock senior soccer player Kaylee Larson asked her coach to move her up top, giving her more opportunities to score.


During a practice before the season, Havelock senior soccer player Kaylee Larson asked her coach to move her up top, giving her more opportunities to score.



Striker was a position she thrived at during the offseason with her Onslow County travel team.



With approval, Larson moved to the prime scoring position and immediately made an impact for Havelock soccer team. She scored three goals in the opener against North Raleigh Christian Academy and has five multi-goal games this season.



“With my travel team, I play striker,” she said. “I asked (Havelock coach Amy McCutcheon) her to put me up top and in the first game we played, I scored three goals. After that, I set my spot there.”



Larson went from playing left wing and being a distributor as a junior to leading the Rams with 17 goals this season.



She proved a strong replacement for Natalie Johnson, Havelock’s former speedster who is now playing in college at Old Dominion.



“It’s been really big,” McCutcheon said. “We were trying to find the one to step up and help out. She did it right from the get-go. From the first games, she opened the flood gates.”



Larson scored few goals last season, and now she is one of the reasons why the Rams (11-7-1) finished third in arguably one of the toughest 3A soccer conferences in the state.



“Last year, at left wing, I was more into distributing to the strikers instead of being selfish and looking for myself to score,” Larson said. “This year, since I am striker, I get more opportunities.”



The Rams had scored 54 goals this season going into Wednesday night’s first-round playoff game against Eastern Alamance. Next to Larson’s 17 goals, junior Dominique Martinez has 16 goals and senior Lauren Seegel has seven.



Larson said the balanced offensive attack takes pressure off her and others.



“I try to help the team out,” Larson said. “We have Dom up there and we work really well together. I’m glad Coach Mac put us in the positions that she did and she put me up top.



“I’m more confident now. My mentality is to score more and help the team.”



Adam Thompson is the sports editor of the Sun Journal.