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Soccer - Girls

Woodhaven's Manning looks to lead team far during senior season PHOTO



Woodhaven's Allison Manning has a few goals heading into her senior season on the soccer field. And one of them has to do with goals.

Manning came into this year with 87 goals and needs just 13 to reach 100. Last year, she broke the school record for goals in a season with 38.

"Yes, scoring 100 goals is certainly one of my goals," said the soft-spoken senior who does more of her talking with her left and right foot. "I don't think it's going to last long. There are already a few players on this team that will probably pass me by the time they are done."

Her other goals have to do with the Warriors.

"We are young but we also are very good," she said. "We want to beat Saline this year and get into regionals. Teams underestimate us because we are young but we can play with anyone."

Manning, who also played basketball all four years including as a starter her junior and senior seasons, likes what she sees so far from her soccer team.

"We are very good at possessing the ball," she said. "We control the ball probably 80 percent of the time which gives us more scoring opportunities."

And with a finisher like Manning, those opportunities often turn into goals.

After playing youth soccer in Allen Park and Taylor, Manning joined the Downriver Rush travel team at the age of 12. Before her freshman year of high school, Manning joined the Livonia City Soccer Club and she's been with them ever since.

She has played varsity soccer at Woodhaven all four years and will leave as the school's all-time leading goal scorer. She started for the Warriors as soon as she walked onto the field as a ninth grader

"I liked soccer because it wasn't easy and not everyone can play it," she said. "It's not an easy sport. But I was good at it pretty much right away."

And being good at something often leads to falling in love with that particular sport.

Scott Hoye is in his first year coaching the Warriors and he's glad to have the area's top goal scorer on his front line. But he's learned that she is much more than someone who can put the ball in the back of the net.

"She's a very heady player and understands the game really well," he said. "She knows when to push the ball and when to let the play develop in front of her. And she's obviously a real good playmaker. She can finish with both the right foot and left foot which makes her really dangerous."

Manning also has goals after high school and they don't really involve soccer. She hopes to score in much more important areas.

"I am going to Eastern Michigan University and want to go into education and have a career in special education. It will be my way of giving back," she said.

Manning has a personal reason for why she is choosing special education. And it's more of an inspiration than a reason.

"I have a cousin in special education and I have always admired him with the way he lives his life," she said. "He doesn't let anything get in the way of him living his life."

She said she may try to walk-on the soccer team as a sophomore.





Last Updated: 4/14/2014 1:09:34 AM EST

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