03/08/07 — EW's Frazer chooses St. Andrews

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EW's Frazer chooses St. Andrews

By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on March 8, 2007 2:53 PM

Sam Frazer had seen these soccer drills before.

Players get into a circle or triangle, knock the ball back and forth and switch positions. Normally a person who quickly pulls a ball from the bag and kicks it around, Frazer hesitated this time.

This wasn't high school.

This was college soccer.

"I was so scared to play against them," said Frazer, the daughter of Deane Bernel and Chuck Frazer. "I said to myself 'they're older and they're going to kill you.' But it turns out they were really nice."

And at that point, Frazer knew she wanted to attend St. Andrews Presbyterian College. The Eastern Wayne senior officially signed a national letter-of-intent and announced her decision to attend the Division II school Wednesday morning.

Frazer considered offers from Barton College, Methodist, N.C. Wesleyan, Peace and Mount Olive College. She is the second county player to sign a college soccer scholarship this season. Wayne Country Day senior Georgia Crow inked an NLI with Barton nearly a month ago.

"It was fun," said Frazer of her visit. "They were really helpful when we did drills and I didn't understand something. They didn't do any hardcore drills, but the normal stuff you do in practice ... heading drills, passing drills, shooting the ball.

"It's really the same as in high school, but they're better players because they're older."

Frazer said she liked the interaction between the coaching staff and players. She joins a team which recorded its most-successful season in the Division II era last fall.

The Knights posted a program-best eight wins and finished 3-8 in the highly-competitive Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference.

"I know I need to work out more and get stronger in my legs," said Frazer. "In the offseason, they work out in the gym and run a lap around the campus, which is long."

But before she begins her collegiate career, Frazer has some unfinished business. She and her Warrior teammates earned a share of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title last spring, and settled for runner-up honors in the conference tournament.

Frazer wants more.

"I can't wait for college to start, but I'm concentrating about high school now," said Frazer. "I don't want to let my teammates down. We're hoping to get everything."

Head coach Jorg Wagner has changed the team's playing style this season and has challenged Frazer. She'll split time between the forward and midfield positions, and thinks that strategy will pay dividends as the season progresses.

The scheme should put more pressure on opposing defenses, and prevent the Warriors from becoming bored and listless. Instead of double-marking Frazer, as most teams did last season, they'll need to keep a watchful eye on other players.

Frazer pointed out that Natalie Taylor became a focal point of Eastern Wayne's offense last season when opponents kept Frazer contained outside the shooting area. Taylor notched key goals as the Warriors won 10 of their final 12 games to finish 10-10-1 overall.

"I'm not the main person on Eastern Wayne's team. It's the whole team that makes us good," said Frazer, a two-time all-ECC pick. "If you're going to guard one person, then you don't look at the other good players who score easily, too.

"If it comes down to where Nat or someone else has an open shot, I'm going to give them the ball. I like being the person who helps you win, but you have to work together and win as a team."

Frazer has 59 goals and 29 assists in three varsity seasons. Eastern Wayne has compiled an overall record of 27-25-2 during that span, including a 23-9 ledger against ECC competition.