BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
The Greeneville girls' soccer team featured a high-powered offense during 2013. And no player was more prolific than Lynae Wilder.
The junior scored 29 goals and assisted on five more as she helped lead Greeneville to district and region championships, and a berth in the state sectional round.
For her efforts, Wilder was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class A/AA All-State soccer team, released early last week.
"Lynae is the type of player that has so much energy out in the field," Greeneville coach John Eiskamp said. "She is one of those girls that when she gets the ball at her feet she is looking for space and trying to get through there as quick as she can. She is probably one of the best forwards we've had, at least in a couple of years."
Wilder deflected credit for her success to her teammates.
"We all worked very hard this season to get to where we are," Wilder said. "Most of my individual success came from plays from the midfield."
"Madison Grubbs contributed so much. Her and I work very well together, so I think that was a big factor in my success this season."
The Lady Devils scored 133 goals in 24 games this past season and scored 10 goals or more in eight of those contests.
The were led by Wilder on most of those occasions. The speedy forward was the player who Eiskamp usually counted on to go spark the offense and put the Lady Devils out in front early in games.
"Lynae is a player you can tell prior to a game some things to think about during a game as far as what we expected from her and she would execute it," Eiskamp said. "We always told her we needed one or two goals from her, or to at least create goal for someone else."
What really separated Wilder as an attacking player was her speed. Wilder could out-run almost any defender that tried to stop her and often could blow past two or three at a time, all while having the ball at her feet.
"I love to push and challenge myself to see what I can do," Wilder said. "And my coaches through the years have taught me so much. Especially coach Eiskamp, he always knows exactly how to help me if I'm doing something wrong, and he has made me such a stronger player."
Eiskamp said that speed was Wilder's biggest weapon, but that there is so much more that goes into making her a complete player.
"Obviously there is more than speed to her game, otherwise she would have never put so many balls past opposing keepers this season," Eiskamp said. "Wilder finishes at the net as well as anybody and does a good job finding openings in the field to get good looks on goal."
"That's a coach's dream, to have a player like that who can create opportunities for herself and just take it to goal," he added. "In years past, we've had problems having that one player that can just score goals, and with Lynae you can always count on her. Whether it's from the middle of the field or from the outside, she can use her speed and all of her talents to do good things for us and create those goals.""
While Wilder was often able to run by opponents, she played with more headiness than most would expect from a player who could rely so much on athleticism, and that is really what makes her an All-State caliber player, according to Eiskamp. She sees the whole field and knows where everyone is. That allows her to not settle for just any shot but to find the best shot.
"She has the ability to go forward and create things for herself, or take what the defense gives her and turn the ball back and look for her midfielders," Eiskamp said. "She is the kind of player that is smart enough to know when she can take the type of shot she wants."
The coach is certainly excited to have her back for one more season as Greeneville looks to end a streak of three straight years having watched their season come to an end in the state sectional round.
"It's always great to bring a player like her back and hopefully she can help us get to the next level next year," Eiskamp said. "She'll want to create as many goals as possible but I think the big goal for her is to get her team to the state playoff. She always talked about that this year. She is such a team player and that goal was more important to her than her own statistics"