Girls soccer preview
The Weir High girls soccer team tends to have that road to Beckley mapped out.
Well, that map was never used a year ago as the Red Riders missed a chance on the state tournament for the first time in a while.
Head coach Jessica Naughton and the Red Riders are led by three seniors – Alyssa Shingle, Morgan Cassels and Madison Dalrymple – and look for another trip south.
“I feel this season will be an interesting one for us,” said Naughton. “We are young, but I feel that we can be a good team. I’m looking forward to watching Shingle and Cassels play in their senior year. They are really going to be fun to watch.”
Those are the two defenses must stop from scoring.
But, the Red Riders have other opportunists in juniors Brooke Hawthorne, Mikayla Zias, Abby Wells, Raegan Stead and Francesca Rock.
The sophomores are Emily Ruiz, Alyssa Kelly, Alesia LeSane and Stephanie Pennacchio and freshmen Francesca Farran, Abby Cowher, Hanna Dragonir, Cassidy Champ and Katelynne Ferrebee.
The Crusaders return eight seniors, eight juniors and 13 total letterwinners from a squad that posted a 9-7-2 record last season, including a qualification for OVAC Cup, and a sectional first-round win.
Central lost five seniors from that squad, including three seniors on defense. Despite a challenging schedule, second-year head coach Dave LaRue and his staff have high hopes that the team can reach uncharted territory as a program in 2013.
The key returners are: senior midfielder Sydney Huff (Eastern District Honorable Mention 2012), senior defender Micca Mirabella (Eastern District Honorable Mention 2011, 2012), senior goalkeeper and four-year starter Moriah Vosteen (OVAC and Eastern District Honorable Mention 2012) and junior forward Maria Boston, a 16-goal scorer last season.
Other letterwinners returning to help the squad are senior forwards Katie Irvin and Jackie DuBois, senior midfielders Molly Marrow and Maria Luther and senior defender Melanie Sich.
Juniors expected to contribute significantly besides Boston are Ana McNamara (F/Mid), Defender Angela Duff and Kat Moore (F/Mid). Other juniors who could find significant action are Kateri Spencer (F), Emily Herrmann (Mid/D), Rhiannon Rogers (Mid/D), and Carla Daniel (F/Mid).
Coaches also look for sophomores Emily Kissinger and Anna Luther, and freshmen Alex LaRue, Gabby Capaldi, and Theresa Duff to see varsity playing time.
Completing the roster are sophomores Sophia Bodo, Madeline Padgett, Maria Kelly and Daniela Gonzalez and freshmen Joella Daniel, Aly Orsatti, Maddie Sollom and Cate Beaulieu.
Coach Bob Kolanko goes into this season with high expectations.
“We are expecting a lot from this year as we return nine starters from last season where we finished 8-8-3,” he said. “We still are a young squad with 17 underclassmen and only four seniors, but, we look to make improvements every week.”
Junior Rachel Grubbs returns as the leading scorer from a year ago. She was selected second-team all-state and first-team all-OVAC.
“Other awards went to Hannah Bargar and Leanne Grubbs, both are solidifying our defense this year,” said Kolanko. “Seniors adding experience and leadership this year are four-year starters Shelby Kirk and Christina Conforti, while second year starter Alayna Macaluso will look to make a major impact on our offense this year.
“Tessie Tokash has taken the helm as our goalkeeper. Mia Antinone and Anna Westfall have worked very hard this offseason to improve our midfield and look to possess the ball more so than we did last year.”
Rounding out the roster are Emily Stoneking (senior), juniors Maria Mazzone, Gaby Kotten and Kacey Glaspell, sophomores Elijah Dillie, Elizabeth Conforti, Jenna Fonner, Mikaela Lenhart and Dekota McCombs and freshmen Adi Posti, Gianna Antinone and Ericka Fonner.
Veteran head coach Jeremy Angelo is looking for a far better season than last year’s 3-11-2 mark.
“Returning eight seniors and 16 letterman, we expect to be competitive in every game we play – for how long in the game, that remains to be seen.
“The girls got a lot of varsity experience last year so we hope to better our record from last year and hope we score more than we give up.”
The eight seniors are Allie Byrley, Ashley Borsch, Meghan Brooks, Kylie Long, Hannah Miller, Sammy Montgomery, Meghan Scott and Chelsea Zdinak.
Bethanie Bube, Kaylinn Drabick and Amara Proffitt are the juniors.
The remainder of the roster are sophomores Maddie Byrley, Kayla Cronin, Becka Miller, Katie Oinonen and Krystina Riley and freshmen Rachel Cline, Chelsea Petzker and Melissa Tran.
Seven seniors lead coach Lee Weppler’s Bruins – Michaela Hinerman, Erin Conaway, Megan Bilak, Shelby Cronin, Kaitlyn Govey, Dynah Sayre and Amanda Loughrie.
“We have a great group of senior leadership,” said Weppler. “We have high expectations for the year.”
Weppler also has juniors Lauren Altobell, Jessie Wayne and Andrea Jenkins, sophomores MeKenzie DeFranco, Cheyenne Hudson, Payge Farmer, Jenna Simon and Brette Geary and freshman Leila Hanoui, Jenna Riccelli and Emily Bernardini.
“We would love to go down and play in the state tournament,” said Weppler. “If we continue to work hard, I believe we can reach that goal.”
Sam Paletta begins his second year as the head coach.
“I think we started this season ahead of last year due to the fact that the girls now know what to expect from the coaching staff and the staff knows the players,” he said. “All of the players came in with a positive attitude.
“The assistant coaches, Gary Mooney and Caura Speece, are always positive and the team builds on their energy.
“The seniors have stepped up as leaders, helping the young players understand the game and their rolls.”
Those seniors are Gabi Lemley, Casey Highfield, Devan Mynes, Kayla Strong, Paige Freeman, Jenna Mason and Shania Helmick.
Rounding out the roster are juniors Devon Temple, Madison Kranis, Christen Mangano and Erin Fields, sophomores Aisha Liberatore, Mollie Williams, Lydia Groves, Mandy Minger, Destiney Freeman, Autumn Moninger and Emily Bodo and freshmen MaClay Moore, Morgan Harris, Desi Davis, Ashley Miller, Kailene Glover and Dominica Price.
Leading the way for Big Red are seniors Loren Gray, Elayna Andres, Allie Zimish, Brooke Sutherland, Casey Gentile and Farrah Marcino.
“Our girls have been working very hard to prepare for this upcoming season and that’s because we are led by a solid group of seniors who have put in a lot of work to bring our program to where it is,” said first-year head coach Jared Robinson. “We have high expectations for this team and look forward to seeing them accomplish many things during this season. Most of all we expect them to represent our school with pride, hard work, and determination.”
The juniors are Sierra Porter, Emilee Karas, Ashlee Taylor and Hailey Black, sophomores Kaci Mettenberger, Mary Vodvarka, Deanna DiCarlo, Hannah Masloski, Hannah Hoover, Aspen Bradley and Samantha McDonald and freshmen Gillian Haught, Taylor Haney, Emma Cotter and Kandisi Anyabwile.
Seventeen players are on the Redskins’ roster and eight are seniors – Kristen Shimko, Sonia Constable, Bethany Tilton, Malieka Gurrera, Abby Orr, Dakota Iacovone, Jasmine Lenko and Hannah Webb.
“Our goal this year is to score a few wins, all while having fun and working as a team,” said second-year head coach Jessica Bennett.
Rounding out the roster are juniors Marissa DeFallo, Jalyn Thompson, Emily Ighnat and Shelby Dye, sophomores Feliciti Thompson and Taylor Stanberry and freshmen Karli Celestin, Natalie Sherrell and Hallie Schmitt.
Head coach Scott Ward leads the Huskies into their inaugural season.
“Although this is the first year for Harrison Central soccer we have a very dedicated group of young ladies working very hard to make Harrison Central competitive in high school soccer,” he said.
Fourteen players dot the roster – seniors Dystanee Palmer, Roni Caldwell, Bree Albaugh and Raven Cruz, sophomores Gina Sadler, Mackenzie Sheets, Brittney Maderia and Sara Waggoner and freshmen Ashley Mencer, Spenser Blumenschein, Makayla Black, Cara Young, Kylee Rose and Danielle Pittman.