March 22, 2009
The Kaysinger Conference’s two girls soccer teams have goals on the opposite end of the spectrum.
The Sacred Heart Gremlins covet a district championship.
“Our expectations are to win a district title and make a trip to the Final Four,” Sacred Heart coach Carlos McField said. “In order to do this, we have to ... display the toughness that makes champions.”
The Stover Lady Bulldogs hope their second year of high school soccer will bring improvement after a one-win season.
The Gremlins, who open their season at 5 p.m. today against Warrensburg at Clover Dell Park, bring back 10 starters from a team that went 7-12-1, including leading scorer forward Devin Wadley, whose nine goals and four assists helped her receive an honorable mention on the all-district team.
All-district honorable mention defender Justine Dover and midfielder Megan Moore return and were the team’s assist leaders with four apiece.
Midfielders Farren Bankovich and Cassie Blackmore return as do defenders Kim Crank, Stephanie Hanlon and Courtney Hopper, and forwards Maeghan Johnson and Haylea Smith.
The team’s biggest loss is goalkeeper Laura Hunkins, who made 152 saves last season and earned six shutouts.
The Gremlins lost second-leading goal-scorer Alyssa Hanlon (7).
Senior Laura McMullin joined the team this spring and will likely start at goalkeeper.
McField likes his starters’ experience and his team’s defense.
“This is the best defensive team I have had since I’ve been here,” the third-year coach said.
McField said that his bench’s lack of experience is a concern, although he has several players with potential.
The Lady Bulldogs, who are scheduled to open against Boonville at 4:30 p.m. today in Stover, went 1-16 in their first season of high school soccer and return nine starters from that squad.
Goalkeeper Amber Marriott returns as does defenders Jordan Foreman, April Mullins, Krystal Simpson and Cassie White.
Midfielders Lacy Hatton and Morgan Marriott and forwards Jessica Dills and Jasmine Foreman round out the returners.
First-year coach Lon Larson will be learning about his team as he goes since he didn’t see them play last season.
“I expect to put a team on the field that will be good representatives of our school,” Larson said.