Last season, Katie Compton became the first Lady Panther to earn a spot on the All-Star team.
Eden said she is honored to be on the North team.
“It is real exciting to be the only player from our school to be able to go to this,” Eden said. “I know some schools have four or five kids going but I am the only one from here. It is like an honor.”
The Lady Panthers’ defense was the strength of its team this season with Eden as goalkeeper. Pell City recorded 13 shutouts this season.
“It is exciting to be recognized after just one season,” Eden said. “I know a lot of people that have been playing a long time before they get to go to the North-South game.”
Eden will have chemistry with some of the players on the field Tuesday evening. She said several of her teammates from United Soccer Association 95 Elite Club National League in Birmingham are on the North team.
“I want to win the game for them,” she said. “I want to have a good game for all the players there because some of them are on my club team, so we have bonding experience. I think we have a good chance of winning the game. We want to win it.”
Playing in the All-Star game also gives players who are looking for scholarships exposure, but that is something Eden’s not worried about going into the game. Last fall, she committed to play soccer for Jacksonville State University.
“It does, but I have to think that some of the others have scholarships, too,” Eden said. ”I really can’t think too much of it. I have a couple of friends playing that have scholarships. We are there to just help out and hopefully some of the other girls get recognized.”
The rising senior said playing with and against other All-Stars will help her as well as her teammates next season.
“I think it will help me,” she said. “ I will be ready for some of the players because I know our area is changing. The good players, I am going to know who they are. I am going to be able to tell my team to watch this girl because I will know who she is and I will be ready for her.”
Pell City head coach Jeff Samoranski is elated that Eden was selected to represent the North.
“She is an excellent goal keeper,” Samoranski said. “She had a successful season. I think we had 15 wins and 13 of them were shutouts. She was obviously a contributor to that. With her being a junior and only graduating two seniors, I am looking to have her to step up and be a captain. As a goal keeper she is obviously a leader on the field. I think off the field and with everything that is going to happen she is going to be a captain next year. I am very proud of her.”
The Lady Panthers soccer program has begun to get noticed over the last two seasons. Samoranski believes his team deserves more respect, but since they are not in the Birmingham metro area, they will not get it.
“I would like to think so, but the Birmingham News, they only put things in the paper if you live in Jefferson County and Shelby County,” Samoranski said. “Because we are not in those counties, it doesn’t matter how successful we are, the Metro people will not see that. What is difficult is we want get the due recognition we should get, but the only thing we can do to combat that is to continually have successful seasons and go deeper in the playoffs. Maybe eventually we will be recognized as a quality program on the girls side.”
Samoranski said he thinks Eden has the ability to shutout the South team on Tuesday.
“I am proud,” Samoranski said. “It has been two years in a row having somebody to go to the All-Star game. I think maybe next year we may be able to provide another one just because I have some good rising juniors. Eden has done really well in soccer in high school and her ability as a goal keeper and soccer player will be contributing a factor of the All-Star team. I think it is quite possible that the North will come out with the win again. Not sure what the stats will be exactly. I know the North generally wins the All-Star games. I think the South won a couple of years ago. I think Eden has the ability to get a shutout in the All-Star game and I am looking forward to watching her.”