The De Soto High girls soccer team scored 80 goals during the 2009 season.
Junior midfielder Carly Stanley had a part in all but 20 of them.
During a record-breaking season in which she scored 39 goals and added 21 assists, Stanley established herself as one of the best players in the state.
For that, and her ability to play within a system and elevate the play of those around her, Stanley earned the 2009 All-Area Girls Soccer Player of the Year honor.
When asked how — or even why — she was able to put up such mind-blowing statistics, Stanley answered honestly.
“I have no idea,” she said.
But as the conversation went on, she began to piece it together.
For starters, she credited DHS senior Danielle Price (30 goals, 26 assists) for a lot of it.
“It was probably because Danielle gave me so many great passes,” Stanley said. “All I had to do was finish them. We played off of each other a lot and did it well.”
Stanley spent most of her childhood dabbling in other sports.
But at age 12, she fell in love with soccer. Not because she was a natural. Far from it.
But she loved the game, loved the pace and, perhaps most importantly, loved to work hard to improve.
“When I was 12, I had no skills,” she said. “But I joined a club team and wanted to get better so I just went into the back yard, and the rest fell into place.”
She hasn’t stopped.
“She’s got a ton of talent, there’s no doubt about it,” DHS coach Darren Erpelding said. “And she works extremely hard. She’s probably worked harder this year than in the past.”
Stanley has worked so hard in so many areas of her game that she can’t pinpoint just one in which she excels.
When pressed to make a choice, she pointed to her ability to play one-on-one with anyone who stands in her way.
That’s how many of her goals came this season.
And, according to Erpelding, she probably should have scored even more.
“She could’ve had 50 goals if she didn’t hit so many posts,” Erpelding said.
Although she has one more year remaining at De Soto High, Stanley already has committed orally to play soccer at the University of Central Missouri.