Abby Tucker, goalie for the Turlock High girls soccer team, has signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at Fresno Pacific University in the fall.
Tucker helped the Bulldogs finish 12-3-3 overall and 9-0-1 in Central California Athletic League action, which earned them a place in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
“She was incredibly important to our team,” said THS coach Nicole Lonergan. “We had a lot of trust in her, and the back line used her a lot to build out of the back. They included her very much in the build-up.”
Tucker was at her best during CCAL play, recording six shutouts in 10 games and allowing just five goals overall.
Tucker plans to continue playing goalie at Division II Fresno Pacific, which went 8-7-2 overall in 2022 and 5-5 in the Pacific West Conference.
“I was happy with our senior season,” said Tucker, who plans to major in kinesiology, with designs on becoming a physical therapist. “It was a good way to finish high school.”
The Bulldogs’ season concluded with a 2-1 loss to Pleasant Grove in the first round of the playoffs. THS was seeded sixth in the 16-team field, while the Eagles were No. 11.
“She had the least goals against and the most shutouts of any goalie in our league,” said Lonergan. “She had some big saves against Pitman and Enochs for us to stay undefeated. She’s going to be super duper hard to replace.”
Several factors stood out for Tucker in choosing to become a Sunbird.
“It’s close to home and it’s also a Christian college,” said Tucker. “And they have a really good program, and the coaches and team are very encouraging. They really want the best for you.”
But Tucker said she’ll miss playing for Lonergan.
“Nicole is my role model for soccer and for many other things,” said Tucker. “She’s just an amazing person to be around and is always pushing me to be better.”