Girls soccer player of the year: Ellie Deaver

Hannah Dockery/SCW photo

Hannah Dockery/SCW photo

Being recruited by Division I programs is nothing new for rising Providence senior Ellie Deaver. Her brother, Braxton Deaver, graduated from Providence in 2009 and was charted as the 121st best wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com. The all-state tight end continued his career at Duke and is now the No. 9 tight end prospect for the 2015 Draft according to CBS Sports. Deaver’s father, Jay, lettered four seasons (1985-88) as an offensive guard at Wake Forest.
Growing up in an athletic family, Deaver quickly made her mark on the soccer field, where she’s shined since the age of 5.
And it’s been her contributions at midfield on the Panther soccer team that have catapulted her into the same ranks as her brother. She was vital in the Panthers’ dominating run this season as they went 21-2-1 overall and 14-0 in conference play, including a 14-game win streak where they only surrendered five goals. The three-time all-state selection netted 30 goals in her junior season to break the school’s single-season scoring record and she now sits just 15 shy of breaking the school’s four-year record as she’s scored 66 goals during her high school career.
But, even with all of her success on the field, Deaver was still unsure if she wanted to continue playing soccer at the next level.
“Last year, I didn’t even know if I was going to play in college or if that’s something I wanted to do,” she said. “I had my ups and downs. People would tell me that if I didn’t play in college I was wasting my talent. I love soccer but I’ve watched my brother play a sport in college so I know first-hand the level of commitment it takes. It’s a big deal.”
But Deaver started to become convinced that playing at the collegiate level was a commitment she was ready for over the course of a monumental junior season.
She added eight assists in addition to her 30 goals and quickly became one of the most feared midfielders in the area as the heart and soul of the Panther team that’s gone 52-14-3 over the last three seasons, largely due to her contributions. And when the Charlotte 49ers started chomping at the bit to get Deaver into their program, it was hard for her to say no.
“It just started to make sense,” she said. “I don’t know why I was worried about playing. I love soccer, especially the season we had this year, and now I get to play close to home for a really great program that’s getting bigger. My parents will get to come watch me play, too, which will be great.
“I think my fear was that I wouldn’t have any time to enjoy the college experience. I was worried but I talked to other girls that play in college and talked to my brother and realized that I would have free time and all the luxuries of every other college kid. I’m so naturally competitive and realized I really wanted to play.”
Becoming the third Deaver to sign with a Division I program, the standout soccer star also was voted the So. Meck 8 Conference Player of the Year to add to her accolades. Now, the future 49er is the 2014 South Charlotte Weekly Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
But even with a college commitment to her name alongside statewide recognition, Deaver remains humble and focused on helping the Panther team that finished as the conference champions and had a near-perfect season apart from two tough losses to rival Myers Park, the eventual Class 4A runners up.
“I’m really nonchalant about things,” she said. “When I broke the school record and got Conference Player of the Year, everyone was so excited for me but I just kept thinking, ‘Oh, don’t look at me. I don’t want the spotlight.’ That’s just my personality. But it’s definitely meant a lot to me.
“Ultimately, I want to help our team. I love being able to play here at Providence, especially following in the footsteps of my brother who did so much while he was in high school.”
With her senior season still on the horizon, it’s likely that Deaver has saved her best for last. Along with their star midfielder, the Panthers return big contributors like Molly McGarry and Lauren Ellis who hope to help push the Panthers even further than their fourth-round playoff appearance.
“I’m excited for next season,” Deaver said. “As a senior, I want to be a leader. I want to push us to be even better and I think we’re going to be good enough to do that.”

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Hannah Dockery

About Hannah Dockery

Hannah is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and covers sports in Union County and south Charlotte. She joined the Carolina Weekly family in September 2013 and loves the thrill of covering high school athletics. Follow her on Twitter @hannah4ucw

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