Prep soccer: Taylorsville bets on Black to win

Girls soccer • Striker Abi Black is one of the most lethal scorers in the state.
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There are only a handful of girls who can score goals at will. Taylorsville senior forward Abi Black is one such player.

Black ranked third in goals scored in class 5A last season with 26, and she looks even stronger this year.

"I worked harder in the offseason in comp [league] than I had before," Black said. "I stayed after, put in extra time. I wanted to make sure that I was doing my part to make myself and the team better."

As soon as the high-school season opened, it was obvious that Black's work ethic was paying dividends. She scored two goals in the Warriors' first match and five total in the first three matches.

Entering last Saturday's match at Copper Hills, Black had scored 59 career goals. If she matches her goal total from last year, she would become just the ninth player in state history to accumulate 80 career goals.

Taylorsville coach West Bludworth wishes he had a few more players like Black.

"She has great size and speed. Combine that with the fact that she has played on a lot of good teams with a lot of good coaches, and that makes her the player she is," Bludworth said.

Because Black has played on those high-caliber club teams, she has taken it upon herself to put the team on her back.

"My goal is to be a leader for the team on and off the field. I want to make the players around me the best they can be," Black said. "Being a leader just comes naturally for me."

Bludworth agreed that Black is a natural leader. He said her positive aura on the field is even more important than the goals she scores.

"As a program, we still don't have 50 girls who play on comp teams," Bludworth said. "For the girls who haven't played as much, Abi brings them up. She really knows how to play the game, and that makes everyone around her better."

Taylorsville might not win every match it plays, but with Black carrying the team, the Warriors go into every contest with the attitude that they have a chance. —

About Abi Black

Taylorsville senior forward Abi Black scored five goals in the team's first three matches.

Black is on pace to be one of the state's top 10 all-time goal scorers.

Entering the week, Black had nabbed eight career hat tricks.