Don’t be fooled by her size. Juliana Hubbard, the diminutive sophomore striker for the Northwood girls soccer team, is one of the most dynamic players coming out of the Big 8 Conference heading into Wednesday’s first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.
The Chargers will host Wilson’s Hunt High at 6 p.m.
“Juliana Hubbard is just a fighter,” Chargers coach David Holub said. “She’s always involved in the play, and I’m just hoping I can get a little more meat on her so that she doesn’t get bounced off the ball quite as much.”
Hubbard doesn’t stand out on the field with her size, but her numbers jump off the stat sheet.
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Through her team’s first 10 games, Hubbard had 11 goals on only 20 shots.
Teams began focusing in on Hubbard more and more after such a torrid start.
Northwood (13-5) has a stable of smaller forwards on the team, and tries to hold possession of the ball in the box to draw as many fouls as possible. The players are taught to take the ball wide after they get it, then drop it back into the box. Hubbard excels at this.
“She has to beat one person, and she usually finishes,” Holub said.
When it comes to penetrating the box and drawing fouls, Hubbard is one of the best on the team.
She hasn’t missed a penalty kick this year.
“She’s one of those players you’re just blessed to have,” Holub said. “She fights all the time, she practices hard. She’s a leader. ... When you have a sophomore who’s at that level, you’re just thankful that she’s going to be with you for a couple more seasons.”