Ines Obradovac was the heart and soul of the River Ridge girls soccer team’s run to the Class AAAAAA semifinals. She was the unquestioned leader for the Lady Knights and helped create the unbreakable bond that made them so strong in 2022.
With 45 goals and eight assists, Obradovac was a standout performer all year for River Ridge. She led the Lady Knights to a 13-8-1 record and continued to improve after scoring 32 goals as a junior.
“This season was quite memorable, and I had so much fun playing with my best friends,” Obradovac said. “Every time I stepped on the field, I was so excited to play alongside amazing people. We made a lot of memories off and on the field, and that is what made this season so enjoyable.”
Obradovac sets goals for herself before each game, which challenges her to become a better player. Her family has also been a driving force for her success, helping her find things to work on, even when she plays extremely well.
At the beginning of the season, River Ridge coach Lee Whitaker described Obradovac as a technical, lethal attacker who can carry a team at will. She more than lived up to that with 10 hat tricks, 15 region goals and six goals in state playoffs.
“I am a natural goal scorer, so my main role for the team was to score goals and help the team win,” Obradovac said. “I love being different on the field and scoring and dribbling in unique ways.”
Obradovac was also voted to the All-Region 7AAAAAA First Team, along with teammate Bailey Mullen.
According to her coach, Obradovac’s commitment and drive were outstanding as she became an example for her younger teammates. The Virginia Tech-bound star scored three goals in the Lady Knights’ second-round playoff win over Evans, building on her winning legacy at River Ridge.
“She is so special, not just as a player, but as a person,” Whitaker said. “She has an amazing drive and commitment, with a tremendous heart and will to win. She was such a big part of this. What I love most about her is that she took on such a big leadership role for our team.”
Obradovac’s play was a vital part of the Lady Knights’ early-season turnaround. After starting the season 3-4-1 overall, she helped rally her teammates and prepare for a final four run where River Ridge knocked off some of the classification’s best programs like Dalton and Richmond Hill.
“At the beginning of the season, we were struggling to play like a team and didn’t have much chemistry,” Obradovac said. “We had a couple of games where we struggled and lost in the last minute during the regular season. That only made us stronger and showed us what we had to work on.”
Obradovac wants to thank her teammates, and especially Whitaker, for helping her become such a successful soccer player over the last two seasons at River Ridge.