Girls soccer: CR's Prillaman 'has it all'

Girls soccer: CR's Prillaman 'has it all'

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Girls soccer: CR's Prillaman 'has it all'

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CAMDEN

When Caesar Rodney girls soccer coach Darrell Gravatt is asked to describe the strengths in Lexi Prillaman’s game, he doesn’t hesitate or ponder the question.

“Everything. She has everything,” Gravatt said. “She’s two-footed. She can dribble with either foot. She can shoot with either foot. She keeps her head up well. She’s got great vision. She’s got a great first touch, out of the air and on the ground. She’s a great dribbler one-v-one. She can combine well. She just has it all.”

That’s a pretty long list, but everyone who tries to stop Prillaman quickly discovers Gravatt is correct.

“She’s the classiest kid in the state,” Dover coach Paul Booton said. “She’s a great player. … Lexi is the key, in my opinion, to their team. As she goes, their team goes. And she always plays well.”

That’s showing in Prillaman’s performance: She has already scored 21 goals this spring, and the Riders are 9-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state.

“She demands the ball. She wants the ball,” Gravatt said. “She draws everybody’s best player in the back. … Everybody on our team wants her to have the ball, because she directs everyone. She’s calling for the ball, telling other girls where to go. She’s our leader in the front five.”

The junior continues to take her game up a notch and received her first taste of international play in March when she traveled to Spain and Portugal with the U.S. Region I girls U17 team. The team spent 10 days overseas, going 2-1-1 against local women’s professional teams.

“It was an amazing experience,” Prillaman said. “We were immersed in the culture. We were forced to try new things, which was amazing, and I made a lot of new friends that I’m still in touch with.”

Prillaman made the Region I team, composed of the top 16 girls in an area stretching from Virginia to Maine, through a series of tryouts and camps. She also went to Boca Raton, Fla., to play against the top players from the other U.S. regional teams.

“Just being able to play against that competition was really beneficial,” she said. “My foot skills are better now. My speed is better. I’ve improved a lot of aspects of my game.”

Prillaman, who plays soccer year-round, also competes for Concord United Premier in Wilmington and Olympic Development Program teams. But she also found time to be the Riders’ leading scorer in field hockey in the fall and leading scorer in basketball in the winter.

She has committed to continue her soccer career at the University of Richmond in Virginia and remains eligible to make the Region I team for another overseas trip next spring.

But Prillaman isn’t looking too far ahead. Caesar Rodney lost to Padua in the state championship game last year, and she wants to help the Riders take it all the way next month.

“I love my girls. I don’t know what I would do without playing high school soccer,” Prillaman said. “Even if we weren’t as successful as we are, I would still enjoy every moment of it.”

Prillaman often draws two or three defenders from her center forward position with the Riders. She is always looking for ways to hone her game.

“My shots aren’t really the way I want them to be right now, so I’m going to be working on them,” she said. “I want to be able to bend the ball better when shooting, and I want to be able to set my players up more. I know without them I wouldn’t be able to do any of this, so I want to help them, too.”

Caesar Rodney player has already helped the Riders immensely, and she has another season to go.

“This is a player that never stops getting better. That’s the truth,” Gravatt said. “She was really good when she came in as a freshman, and she just keeps climbing that mountain.

“I think she’s by far the best player in the state,” he said. “She’s just dominant. Everybody knows her.

“She has it all,” Gravatt added. “There is no missing link in her.”

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