Heritage senior Abbey Dunlop will continue her soccer career next season at Piedmont College, inking her National Letter of Intent with the Lions Wednesday, March 12.
Dunlop, who was named the team’s Most Valuable Defender last season, anchored a Heritage defensive unit that shutout 13 of their 19 opponents, garnering first team all-region status.
Dunlop, who wavered between continuing her playing career at the collegiate level or leaving the game, said that joining the Piedmont program was “the right fit.”
“I met a lot of the girls and I fell in love with the coaching staff and program,” Dunlop said. “I just loved every single second of it.”
Dunlop said she believes the Heritage program has prepared her for the rigors that come with competing at the collegiate level.
“The hard practices have certainly helped prepare me, but even more so, the family concept we’ve developed here has really made understand what it means to be part of a team,” she said. “I realized I wanted to be a part of another family and that’s what really pushed me into joining Piedmont College.”
In 48 career starts for the Lady Patriots, Dunlop netted 10 goals and added two assists from her defensive position. Dunlop was named to the Georgia High School All-Star team as a junior last season and earned all-region honorable mention accolades during her sophomore campaign.
Dunlop grew up playing club soccer for the RYSA Revolution before joining the Oconee Soccer Alliance. Along with her success on the field, Dunlop lettered as a cheerleader.
“It’s a great feeling and I’m very proud of Abbey for continuing her career,” Heritage coach Chad Suddeth said. “I think I’m as excited as she is.
“She’s a dream to have in the program – she’s a great player, a fantastic leader and she shows up and is ready for work every day,” he said. “We plugged her into the starting line-up four years ago and we haven’t had to worry about her ever since. We hate to see her go, but she’s going to continue to do great things.”
Dunlop joins a Lions’ program that went 17-3-2 last season with a 9-1-2 mark in USA South Conference play.