Girls’ soccer preview

As seen in print today…

Fayetteville Academy hoisted the boys’ state championship trophy in the fall.
Now coach Andrew Mc Carthy and the Lady Eagles will be looking to add a NCISAA State-2A trophy to the case this spring.
The Academy returns all-state selections Gloria Douglas and Natalie Headley, as well as a host of other players who missed out on last year’s state title by a single goal in the championship game.
In the public school ranks, Pinecrest, despite a controversial off-season coaching change, looks to be the favorite in the Mid-Southeastern Conference.
The race for that title, however, should be closer than it has been in recent years.
Look for Lumberton and Terry Sanford to spar for the Two Rivers title, with perhaps Pine Forest getting in the mix as well.

Cape Fear Valley Conference

Gray’s Creek
Coach: Rick Kaiser
2008 record: 15-8
Players to watch: Jennifer Floyd, F, Sr.; Savannah Bunning, DEF, Soph.; Madison Ger iner, MF, Jr.; Helene Beltran, DEF, Fr. and Taari Coleman, F, Jr.
Fast fact: Floyd had 19 goals and 10 assists for the Lady Bears in 2008.
From the coach: “We lost eight of our 15 varsity players last year. But we’ve got a mix of girls coming up. We’ve got to work hard to work together and learn each other. It’s going to be an interesting year. We’ve got some good athletes and good attitudes to work with, so we’re hoping we can do something this year.”

Two Rivers Conference

Cape Fear
Coach: John Callahan
2008 record: 10-11
Players to watch: Ashley Touchette, MF, Sr,; Lindsey Trigaboff, MF, Jr.; Lauren Freiler, MF, Soph.; Cassie Callahan, F, Soph. and Jessie Pearson, DEF, Jr.
Fast fact: Fell to East Chapel Hill in the first round of the playoffs last season.
From the coach: “We’re still pretty young. We’ve got not enough seniors and quite a few juniors and sophomores, so maturity is a big key for us. We’re very young, so we have to be mature and play up.”

Pine Forest
Coach: Isaac Rancour
2008 record: 9-13-1
Players to watch: April Byrd, F, Sr.; Blair Elmore, MF, Sr.,; Lauren Rideout, MF, Soph., and Desiree Parker, DEF, Sr
Fast fact: Byrd led the squad with 13 goals last season.
From the coach: “We’ve lost a lot of players this year due to early graduation and, I guess, a lack of interest in soccer. So we’re going to have to have good leadership from our returning players and our defense is going to have to step up and play re ally strong.”

South View
Coach: Jeremiah Mattingly
2008 record: 6-16
Players to watch: Cassandra Serje, MF, Jr.; Denise Heggins, F, Sr.; Heather Kashner, DEF, Jr. and Julia Celata, MF, Sr.
Fast fact: Serje had 12 goals and a county-leading 12 assists last year.
From the coach: “We should have five or six freshmen con tribute a lot of minutes. They’re very energetic, which is great, and very coachable. I’m really enjoying that. I’m sure we’ll be successful this year, but next year, maybe we can make a push for a conference championship.”

Terry Sanford
Coach: Bryan Madej
2008 record: 19-5
Players to watch: Mary Katherine Craven, MF, Sr.; Car olyn Gannon, MF, Sr.; Teresa O’Sullivan, F, Fr.; Julie Hurst, MF, Jr. and Taylor Cavazos, F, Fr.
Fast fact: The Lady Bulldogs will have to make due without their top three scorers from last season.
From the coach: “We’ve got a good mixture. We’ve got eight juniors and seniors, two sophomores and seven freshmen. So it could be good and bad with the youth that we have. But we have a really good group of girls. It’s one of those years that we’ll probably win some games we shouldn’t and lose some games we shouldn’t.”

Lumberton
Head Coach: Kenny Simmons
2008 record: 18-5-1
Players to watch: Morgan Haskins F, Sr.; Katye Jobe, MF, Sr.; Chelsea Canady, MF, Soph. and Rebecca Hansen, GK, Soph.
Fast fact: The defending Two Rivers Conference champions reached the second round of the playoffs last season.
From the coach: “We should contend for the championship. We have the talent to be successful, but developing the right chemistry and being consistent with our play will be huge factors.”

Purnell Swett
Coach: Jamie Gomez
2008 record: 0-14
Players to watch: Heather Oxendine, DEF, Jr.; Rachael Di al, F, Sr.; Arienna Van Allen, DEF, Sr.; Lydia Locklear, MF, Jr. and Alexandria Locklear, DEF, Soph.
Fast fact: This is Gomez’s first season as Purnell Swett coach.
From the coach: “I’m just try ing to get the girls to work to gether. Hopefully, we’ll win at least one game. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s going to be a fun season.”

E.E. Smith
Coach: Marvin Andrade
2008 record: 6-15-1
Players to watch: Taylor Sharp, Deanna Ruiz and Jasmine Hood
Fast fact: Smith is 3-1-1 on the season so far.
From the coach: “Working hard as a team and being committed (are the keys to our success).”

Mid-Southeastern Conference

Jack Britt
Coach: Nat Bunphithak
2008 record: 13-9-2
Players to watch: Victoria Anderson, DEF, Soph.; Osaro Obanor, DEF, Soph.; Sarah Quarta, MF, Sr.; Rachael Ramey, F, Soph.; Bailey Math ias, GK, Soph.; Amber Rodriguez, DEF, Soph.; Maria Munn, MF, Sr. and Kristen Van Dyke, MF, Fr.
Fast fact: Reached the play offs last season, where they were ousted by New Bern.
From the coach: “Last year, we started seven freshmen. In our conference, Pinecrest is always the toughest and every body else kind of follows behind, trying to fight for that first spot. So we can’t take anybody lightly.”

Scotland County
Coach: Colin McDavid
2008 record: 18-3
Players to watch: Megan Brigman, F, Sr.; Josie Yang, F, Jr.; Whitney Campbell, MF, Jr.; Kristen Covington, MF, Sr. and Jessie Newton, DEF, Sr.
Fast fact: Brigman, the reigning MSEC co-Player of the Year, is a UNC recruit.
From the coach: “We’ve been blessed with a good unit for al most 10 years in a row, but this year we’re rebuilding. Which is fine because the young players are very coachable. They’re learning fast and I really appreciate South View doing (the Coaches vs. Cancer) jamboree. This has really helped us.”

Hoke County
Coach: Derek Butler
2008 record: 16-8-1
Players to watch: Janae Aiken, GK, Soph.; Erika Dowdy, F, Sr.; Taylor Bates, DEF, Soph.; Melany Bates, MF, Sr. and Sara Macias, DEF, Jr.
Fast fact: Fell to Terry San ford in the opening round of the playoffs last season.
From the coach: “We’re expecting a good year. We’re hop ing to improve on last year. We’ve got a lot of good senior girls, and that’s what our strength will be. We’ve got some good things to look forward to, but we’re implementing a new system, so that could be a challenge for us.”

Seventy-First
Coach: Steve Stanley
2008 record: 3-13-1
Players to watch: Kelsea Belcher, DEF, Sr.; Kim Davis, GK, Sr.; Nicole Holliday, MF, Jr.; Gabrielle Jaramillo, DEF, Sr.; Johana Lopez, MF, Sr.; Gabrielle Powell, F, Sr.; Courtney Villanueva, DEF, Sr.; Alexis Washington, MF, Sr. and Sierra Wooden, DEF, Jr.
Fast fact: Holliday and Davis were all-conference honorable mentions last season.
From the coach: “We hope to have a better record and make the playoffs. We will achieve our goal by playing better as a team. This is a senior-dominated team that is capable of finishing in the top half of the conference standings.”

Pinecrest
Coach: Todd Abbey
2008 record: 19-2-1
Players to watch: Lyndsey Anderson, F, Sr.; Rebecca Dupre, MF, Jr.; Bailey Pages, MF, Jr. and Sarah Dejak, GK, Soph.
Fast fact: Abbey is the inter im coach after Larry Martin was relieved of his coaching du ties in November.
From the coach: “The positive is that we have a good corps that has played together in high school and out of school. I’m not starting from scratch.
“The understanding of this group is team first. With that kind of attitude, I think the team will do well.” (from the Southern Pines Pilot, March 5)

Douglas Byrd
Coach: Daralee (DJ) Wig gins
2008 record: 2-12
Players to watch: Brittany Irwin (C), MF, Soph.; Anni Ingledue, F, Soph.; Courtney Knutson, F, Fr. and Mikala Smith (C), DEF, Soph.
Fast fact: This is Wiggins’ first season in charge of the Eagles
From the coach: “We have eight freshmen and sophomores in our starting lineup. Our goal is to have them mature on and off the field and lay the ground work to improve the soccer pro gram at Douglas Byrd High School, and in the process, if we can double our win total from a year ago that will be a plus.”

Private schools

Fayetteville Academy
Coach: Andrew McCarthy
2008 record: 15-3
Players to watch: Gloria Douglas, MF; Natalie Headley, F; Nelly Johnson, MF; Cristina Tarumoto, DEF; Caitlin Maughan, DEF; Chelie Redinbo, MF and Joi Crishon, F
Fast fact: Lost 2-1 in the state title game against Cary Christian last spring.
From the coach: “We have a great group of hard working girls who are a pleasure to coach. If we stay focused on what we need to do to win both on and of the field we should have a good year.”

Fayetteville Christian
Coach: Matt Sadler
2008 record: 8-10-1
Players to watch: Caitlin Barrett, MF, Sr.; Carly Smith, GK, Soph.; Ally Kleffman, F, Soph.; Larra Creech, MF, Soph.; Danielle Allyn, DEF, Soph.; Katherine Connell, DEF, Fr. and Tanay Ellis, F, Fr.
From the coach: “This year’s team is very young and inexpe rienced but also has a lot of tal ent and is full of potential.
“Depending on how this team comes together and develops over the course of the season, this is a group that could make some noise at the end of the year.”

Village Christian
Coach: Harold Morrison
2008 record: 8-5-2
Players to watch: Maryssa Dyer, GK, Sr.; Jessica Beasley (co-captain), F, Sr.; Jennifer Beasley, F, Sr.; Zoe Landis, DEF, Sr.; Riana Gunter, F, Sr.; Kathlyn Stephens, DEF, Jr.; Lauren Stephenson, DEF, Jr. and Lainey Smith, MF, Jr.
Fast fact: The Knights return 10 players including all-state se lection and co-captian Maryssa Dyer, as well as twin sisters Jessica and Jennifer Beasley.
From the coach: “We look forward to challenging the very strong teams in the Cape Fear Independent Conference, includ ing local rivals Fayetteville Academy and Fayetteville Christian as well as newcomer O’Neal, for the conference championship.
“We also hope to earn a spot again in the NCISAA 2A State Tournament. With our entire of fense returning we will go as far as our new defenders take us.”

Northwood Temple
Coach: Jonathan Good
2008 record: 9-8
Players to Watch: Jenna Muhsen, MF, Sr.; Ashlan Strick land, F, Sr.; Kaitlyn Rowe, GK, Sr.
Fast fact: The Eagles will be looking to return to the playoffs after narrowly missing out last season.
From the coach: “(This) will be a pivotal year for the pro gram. The defensive set and of fensive play will prove to be strong. The team will focus on accurate shots, ball control, and offensive domination.
“(We) should be a competi tive team within the Carolina Christian Conference as well as viable competition within the NCISAA State Tournament.

Richmond County and Westover did not respond to requests for information.

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