PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Hernandez key for 6-0 Lady Wildcats

By DONNELL COLEY
Sports editor
Posted 3/22/22

Nicole Hernandez takes Daily Record Player of the Week after helping continue Hobbton girls soccer's unbeaten streak to start the season.

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PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Hernandez key for 6-0 Lady Wildcats

Posted

NEWTON GROVE – Nicole Hernandez is already picking up where she left off last season that saw Hobbton’s girls soccer team return to the postseason.

Last year’s top scorer as a sophomore, Hernandez already has a team-high 12 goals and 26 points for the 6-0-1 Lady Wildcats.

“I get focused and concentrate on what I want to do each game. I have certain things I want to achieve ...,” Hernandez said after posting a hat trick during the team’s 9-0 home win over North Duplin on March 15.

The junior totaled six goals last week, helping Hobbton to a perfect 3-0 mark during the stretch. She scored a pair of goals in the win over South Lenior on Monday and found the net again Friday during a 7-0 rout at Heide Trask.

First-year coach Eric McDonald has been equally impressed with how Hernandez has continued her offensive success this season as he has with how it impacted her teammates.

“She (Hernandez) demands a lot from them,” he said. “The girls look up to her, they respect her. They want her to score, so whatever opportunity they have for her to score, they make it happen.”

The Lady Wildcats have outpaced their opponents 40-4 so far, with the only blemish being a 1-all tie against Greenfield during The Brittany Soccer Showcase on March 12.

With the majority of the roster returning from a squad that went unbeaten through the first six games in 2021, Hernandez credits team continuity for its latest streak.

“We know how to play with each other ... and that helps us achieve more,” she said.

“We’re focused on getting better and trying to get to the playoffs.”

This week, Hernandez and company are matched with reigning league champ Neuse Charter, who put a halt to last year’s spurt.

She feels that the nonconference work ahead of Thursday’s first-place showdown is key in preparing for the important matchup. 

“It says a lot about us. ...We want to keep moving forward,” Hernandez said.

Below is Hernandez’s acceptance speech along with her responses to questions from The Daily Record staff.

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: I’d like to thank the team, my family and Coach McDonald.  

FAVORITE SUBJECT: Math

FAVORITE APP: Snapchat

FAVORITE ATHLETE: Cristiano Ronaldo

FAVORITE PREGAME ROUTINE: Hype up my teammates.

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