Eagle Booters Look To Make Noise In 2014
Second-year girls’ soccer Head Coach Nikki Doty and Assistant Coach Brittany Leek have the numbers this season. And, with the addition of several newcomers to the squad, the Magnolia Lady booters look to improve on their 11-1-1 record a season ago.
However, Doty and Leek will need to replace graduates Stephanie Mullett and Amy Baker if they want to build a team that can win more games than they lose.
“I think we are definitely going to surprise some people,” said Doty. “I believe that as long as we stay committed and have good communication and good support, it is going to be a really good season.”
Doty has several reasons to be optimistic. The Blue Eagles return eight players with previous experience, which should mean that most of the starting lineup will be comprised of proven veterans.
At the start of the season, it looks to be Brianna “Lion” Young who will guard the nets at the keepers’ side. But, don’t rule out a few others who might try their hand at it. First-year senior Audrey Gibb looks to challenge as well as a few others.
The defense returns lettermen Cedar Sands, Maria Tucios, Lisa Patel, as well as first-year players Katie Blatt, Morgan Maston, Hannah Fluharty, and Shannan Williams. Midfielders Abby Durig, Krysta Henderson, Anna and Audrey Gibb will be the most important players on the field playing both offense and defense, while controlling 80 percent of the field.
Mandi Theodoro and Shannan Hoskins will join last year’s top scorer, Jordan Delaney, at forward, along with Taylor Cline and Hailey Waters, who also will help out some at midfield when needed. With Delaney on the field and the athletic ability of Durig, Blatt, and the Gibb sisters, the Lady Eagles should be very entertaining to watch.
But, with two 40-minute halfs without any time outs, Doty has 16 quality players who can play different positions and not miss a beat. Missing from this year’s team is Kiera Standiford, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
However, she will have the responsibility of keeping track of the statistics, as well as helping keep the bench area pumped and motivated.
Doty and Leek are placing an extra emphasis on defense this fall. The team looks to transition from the diamond defense to a flat back four defensive alignment.
“My defenders are top notch,” said Doty. “No matter what type of defense we go to, they will do their best.”
The purpose of the defense is to catch the other team off sides and keep teams from attacking the middle that allows them to cover more of the field and to converge a lot more with double teaming when necessary.
Doty and Leek want their team to be more aggressive on offense and just as aggressive on defense. With five players graduating this spring, the coaches hope that they can entice more student athletes to get involved in the sport next season.
Doty, however, likes her chances, especially if they can stay away from the injury bug. As for the regular season, Magnolia will take on Steubenville, Wheeling Central, Tyler Consolidated, and Harrison Central from Aug. 23-30 with home matches against Wheeling Central, Tyler Consolidated and Harrison Central, Aug. 26, 28, and 30.
The Magnolia Lady Booters lost their season opener to Steubenville Big Reds, 5-1 Aug. 23.
In the second half, Jordan Dulaney scored the Eagles’ only goal. Gibb, Theodoro, and Durig had nice shots at the goal, but were turned away by keeper saves.
Young was at goal and knocked away two shots in the first half, and four more in the second half.
“The girls played a wonderful game,” said Doty. “We kept up the energy and stuck it out to the very end.
Magnolia Girls Soccer Revised Schedule
Aug. 23Away Steubenville (1 p.m.)
Aug. 26HomeWheeling Central
Aug. 28HomeTyler Consolidated (7 p.m.)
Aug. 30HomeHarrison Central(noon)
Sept. 1Away Linsly (5 p.m.)
Sept. 6HomeJohn Marshall 11 a.m.)
Sept. 15Away Oak Glen (5 p.m.)
Sept. 25HomeBridgeport (5 p.m.)
Sept. 30HomeWilliamstown (5 p.m.)
Oct. 2HomeMadonna (6 p.m.)
Oct. 7Away Bridgeport (5 p.m.)
Oct. 11HomeWeir (11 a.m.)
Oct. 13Away Tyler (5 p.m.)
Oct. 16Away Wheeling Central
(All matches start as 5:30 p.m. unless noted)