Morning Star Staff
When it comes to scoring goals, Cayleigh Graham has no off button.
The Grade 11 phenom has loved filling the net since she was in L’il Kickers and hasn’t stopped since.
Graham, who turned 17 in January, delivered a dozen goals as the Fulton Maroons placed fourth in the eight-team Okanagan Valley Senior AA Girls Soccer Championships at Kings Park in Penticton.
Graham fed Nicole Doerges on the flank for Fulton’s goal in a 2-1 consolation final loss to the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops Wednesday.
Sa-Hali recorded a dazzling corner off the far post and top cheddar for the winner, a goal so amazing some Fulton players asked head coach Eric Ladner if it counted.
The Maroons held an even edge in possession but fell 4-1 to the Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops in their tournament opener Tuesday.
Fulton followed with a 6-3 win over the Seaton Sonics with Graham producing a pair and singles going to Kate Allison, Carmen Beaumont, Erin Delaney and Andie Kaneda.
The Maroons finished preliminary play by getting a six-pack from Graham in a 6-1 win over host Princess Margaret Mustangs.
“They tried to play the offside trap on us and Cayleigh kept getting breakaways,” said Ladner.
The Okanagan Mission Huskies brushed back Valleyview 3-0 in the tourney final.
Ladner is stoked about next year since Fulton has nine returnees and impressive juniors coming up.
“We played extremely well and were somewhere in the top-four going into the Valleys,” said Ladner. “One bizarre stat about Cayleigh is that in the last two years, she has scored in every game. She’s not alone: we get her the ball and we have lots of other strong players. She has breakaway pace and skill and she’s a good finisher.”
Graham, who already has colleges lining up to sign her upon graduation, rang up 25 of Fulton’s 43 snipes this season.
Ladner gave special props to rookie keeper Emily Dahl.
“Emily improved every game. I told her to bring her personality into the position and go hard for every ball.”