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'Cane shines a number of ways

Junior Amber Presnick shows again her ability to pass, dribble and shoot.

By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 3, 2002

INVERNESS -- There are two ways to measure Amber Presnick's play: One involves the scorebook, and the other the scoreboard.

She stands out either way.

The junior midfielder had 24 goals and 16 assists for Citrus this winter, upping her career totals to 66 goals, 43 assists.

Behind Presnick, the Hurricanes went 18-4-1 and finished second to Lecanto in Class 2A, District 7. They are a combined 60-7-6 during her three seasons.

"She is such a big part of the Citrus soccer team," Lecanto coach Kevin Towne said. "As a coach, when you talk about Citrus, your first move is to mark up Amber Presnick."

Marking Presnick is difficult.

Stopping her is next to impossible.

Presnick, who also earned All-Citrus/Hernando Player of the Year honors in 2000 and 2001, is a threat to score or pass for a goal every time she touches the ball.

As a ninth-grader, she had 13 goals and nine assists. She finished with 29 goals and 18 assists as a sophomore. The 'Canes won district titles both seasons.

Presnick was third in the Citrus/Hernando area in goals this season, and first in assists.

"She's getting better and better every year," Citrus coach Brady Bogart said. "This season she played more aggressively. And she wants to get her teammates involved.

"She dictates a lot of what's going on during the game. She's really improved over the last three years. She can play anywhere and compete with anybody."

Presnick spent recent offseasons playing for an organized league in Hillsborough County that features the best players in the Tampa Bay area.

Last fall, as a member of Tampa-based HC United, she participated in tournaments in Atlanta, Miami, North Carolina and Washington. "Everybody is good," Presnick said. "There are no weak teams at all. It's all the best soccer players."

Presnick has received interest from Florida, Florida State and Vanderbilt. Her older brother, Cory, a 2000 Citrus graduate, runs cross country and track at Florida.

"She's definitely a Division I player," Bogart said. "She's working toward that. A lot of kids want it but don't to work toward it. They talk toward it, but she works."

Presnick is a complete player.

She can pass, dribble and shoot. Her vision and knowledge of the sport help her control the middle of the field in most games. She's even solid on defense.

Presnick played forward for HC United, and Bogart said she could end up there for the Hurricanes next season.

In Citrus' season-ending loss to Land O'Lakes, Presnick scored two goals while playing forward.

"She shot the ball real well," Bogart said.

That hardly came as a surprise.

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