Wheatmore’s Garrison sets state record with special goal

Wheatmore’s Ellie Garrison takes a shot between two Pine Lake Prep players during last year’s state playoffs. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

TRINITY – There are lots of ways to score a goal in soccer, and Ellie Garrison’s state-record tally ranked up there as quite unique.

The Wheatmore senior became North Carolina’s girls’ record holder for goals by scoring against Bishop McGuinness last week.

The record came shortly after the Warriors gave up a goal. Garrison wanted to receive the first pass when play resumed.

“She noticed the goalie was way off the line,’ Wheatmore coach Rick Maness said. “She struck it, one touch.”

And the ball went an estimated 55 to 60 yards and into the net.

“First time I’ve seen that,” Maness said. “What a way to set the record. She scored that and that was the record right there.”

That was the first of two goals in that game for Garrison. And there could be plenty more for Garrison, who’s signed to play collegiately at Appalachian State.

“We got a lot of season left,” Maness said.

Garrison scored 77 goals as a sophomore as the Warriors won the Class 2-A state championship. Last year, she established a single-season state record with 96 as the Warriors finished as the state runners-up.

Adding in 29 goals from her freshman season, which was an abbreviated version because of the pandemic, she had 202 goals entering this season.

Now, she has 219.

Carolyn Lindsay of South View, a 2003 graduate who later played at UNC Greensboro, had 217 goals for the most listed by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

Garrison tied the state record March 13 at Trinity before her record pursuit went on pause a couple of weeks ago. She played with a club team in a weekend tournament in Virginia, returning with a sprained ankle.

That caused her to miss games against Randleman and Eastern Randolph. Garrison was back for the game vs. visiting Bishop McGuinness, which won 6-3.

Now that the record has been set, there could be more.

“I just hope she’ll play and have fun now,” Maness said.

Yet it won’t be any easier.

“Anytime she gets the ball, she draws two or three or four defenders,” Maness said. “She’s a magnet.”

Garrison is the fourth member of her family to play for Maness, who has also coached the boys’ team at Wheatmore. His current star has been able to maintain a high level of play.

“She stays fit and that’s probably what has helped her out over the years,” he said.

There are 11 more games on the Warriors’ regular-season schedule.

Wheatmore, which doesn’t have a game this week because of spring break, holds a 4-3 overall record. The Warriors have games on three consecutive days next week beginning April 9 in a make-up game vs. Southwestern Randolph.

By Bob Sutton