Gill’s leadership big reason girls soccer team unbeaten

Senior Bella Gill has been instrumental in another banner season for the Stratford girls soccer team. (Photo courtesy of Stratford Sports Information.)

By LIZZI CLAYTON, Gazebo Assistant Editor

The Stratford Eagles are approaching their game against Mount de Sales on Thursday with a perfect record through 10 games.

Although there are many factors which play into this outstanding record, one very important reason is senior Bella Gill.

Gill, a center forward, is leading the team with 15 goals and 14 assists.  She has 44 points this season.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Gill said. “We have battled in every single game and have never given up. We’re currently 10-0, and I believe this is because of our heart and love for the game.”

With Gill’s exceptional career at Stratford coming to an end, Coach Kate Blankenship recounts her two years with this key player.

“She adds a special dynamic as far as the way that she plays,” Blankenship said. “I’ve always felt that about her ability to be a target forward and to use her skills physically to keep the ball. To couple her with a player like Emory [Sutherland], who can really help us threaten behind, it’s kind of a dual threat system.”

Gill is also very excited about her future, both in upcoming games and in her future career at the University of West Alabama. She signed a national letter of intent with the Tigers in February.

“We have a busy week coming up and playoffs will follow,” said Gill. “I believe if we stay focused and play for each other we will overcome all adversity. I’m excited to finish my senior season with these teammates under the coaching of Coach Kate. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to continue my soccer career at the University West Alabama.”

Coach Blankenship is very excited for Gill.

“I think she can be a tremendous player at the college level,” said Blankenship. “I think she has to be utilized the right way because of the type of forward she is, but with good coaching, which is where I think she is head, she could be a really dynamic goal scorer.”

For now, Gill said she is just focusing on the present, as the team heads into another important region game against Mount de Sales.

“We’ve done really well so far,” said Blankenship. “We’ve faced a lot of quality teams and we’ve been able to finish really strong. We have a big game this Thursday, and really three huge games left as they are all area games.”