Inside McDowell and Moore.JPG

East Carter girls soccer players Ashleigh McDowell (left) and Kallie Moore hold up their UPIKE jerseys with coach Gary Warford. Both signed to play college soccer at a ceremony Thursday afternoon at East Carter.

Ashleigh McDowell and Kallie Moore have been friends since the third grade. They both have supported each other on and off the soccer fields of Carter County for several years.

Now, the two will call the University of Pikeville home for the next four years as both signed to play college soccer for the Bears.

“I didn’t think about going to Pikeville before Ashleigh and I talked about it,” Moore said. “We went on a visit and (UPIKE Coach) Gary (Warford) was really nice and we fell in love with the campus.”

“It’s good for us because we’re going to help push ourselves to be the best soccer players we can be at Pikeville,” McDowell said. “It’s going to be a good experience going down there and continue playing with her.”

Moore, a defender for the 17-4-1 Lady Raiders scored three goals and had four assists. She was also a part of a squad that only gave up 15 goals all season. McDowell, a forward was third on the team in goals (21) and assists with eight.

Both expect to contribute immediately in their freshman year.

“I feel like I’m a pretty strong defender and I can contribute a lot there to earn some playing time,” Moore said.

The Bears were 7-8-1 last season under Warford, who is now in his third year as the head coach of the Bears. He knows the tradition-rich program East Carter has and jumped at the opportunity to recruit McDowell and Moore to play at UPIKE.

“Both of these individuals bring great attributes both on and off the field,” Warford said. “They’re great student-athletes with great personalities. They will fit in to the system that we have in place.”

“We play in the toughest conference in the NAIA in the Mid-South so we wanted to recruit players like these two. We’re very excited to have them be a part of UPIKE soccer.”

McDowell and Moore will be at UPIKE for a year before fellow teammate Megan Stickler joins them in 2015. She signed with the Bears last November. Teammates Taylor Burnett (Kentucky Wesleyan) and Starr Caldwell (Hesston College) also signed to play at the next level.

“East Carter is a family,” Moore said. “We’ve bonded throughout our years together as a team and we both know that we’ll be able to support each other when we go down there in the fall.”

As for McDowell, she hopes to use her speed to her advantage in hopes of getting more playing time.

“I know it’s not going to be easy,” McDowell said. “It’s going to take a lot of effort and take practice and games seriously. I’m just really looking forward to going down there and playing.”

MacKenzie Bates can be reached at mbates@journal-times.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.

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