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Ranager ready for soccer all-star game

Two years ago, when she was a sophomore, St. Aloysius soccer player Mary Ranager missed the entire season with a torn ACL in her knee. That was also when she showed her coach exactly what kind of player she was.

Despite not being able to play, Ranager continued to come to practice and games to support her teammates and help them along.

“Mary has always been a leader on that team, as far as leading in goals or leading in something. She gives everything to the sport, and you can tell,” St. Al coach Scott Mathis said. “Even when she was hurt she would show up to every practice. She’s a little stubborn and hard-headed, but that helps her play and helps her be better.”

Ranager rebounded from her knee injury to score 15 goals last season and 21 this year. St. Al’s season ended with a 3-2 loss to Park Place in the MAIS Class AAA semifinals last week, but she’ll get one more chance to play when she suits up for the association’s all-star game Wednesday in Jackson.

“I’m really looking forward to it, and representing St. Al as the only senior. I’m excited,” said Ranager, who also had 10 assists in addition to her season goal total.

Ranager was one of six St. Al players — along with Madelyn Polk, Ann Elizabeth Farthing, Cameron Mathis, Cati Matthews and Meg McDaniel — to earn All-District 3-AAA honors. She’s also the only senior on the roster.
After leading the Lady Flashes to a 9-4 record and their second appearance in the Class AAA semifinals in three seasons, she was an obvious pick as an all-star.

Although Ranager tends to be soft-spoken, Scott Mathis said her passion for the game comes through loud and clear.

“She plays indoor, she plays outdoor for seven or eight months out of the year. She’s just always going,” Mathis said.

The all-star game likely will not be the last competitive soccer match that Ranager ever plays. She’s drawn recruiting interest from a number of junior colleges, as well as some smaller four-year schools like Millsaps, Delta State and Belhaven.

Ranager isn’t sure where she’ll play next, but Mathis said whoever lands her is getting a gem.

“She’s the kind of player you want to go watch, even when she makes it to the next level,” Mathis said. “To see players like that make it to the next level, it’s unbelievable. You want to go and follow her because you know she cares and she loves the game.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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