Somerset County girls high school soccer previews
Chantelle Ansell of North Star, left, and Chloe Reese of Conemaugh Township battle for control of the ball during a game last season. (Daily American file photo)
The Lady Mountaineers had some growing pains last season — finishing 6-10-1 overall and 2-8-1 in the WestPAC.
Head coach Rich Murray said his young team gained valuable experience last year and hope it will pay off this season.
“We took some lumps, but we should be competitive if can avoid any injuries,” the veteran coach said. “In my nine years, this is the smallest squad, numbers wise, that we have had. We have only 22 players, but 11 are returning letter winners.”
Just three of those 22 are seniors. Mackenzie Horne (captain), Sarah Luprek and Amber McClintock are all three-year letter winners.
They will be joined on the field by juniors Marah Riley, Jorden Eutsey and Jaclyn Boehnke and sophomores Gina Trulick and Erica Craig.
Murray looks to reach a milestone this season as he needs three wins to reach 100 for his coaching career (97-49-5).
Mike Harbaugh is the assistant coach. Volunteer assistants are Dan Werner, Charlene Murray, Kyle Courntey, Dave Shaffer and Andrea Bird.
The Lady Indians will fill six starting positions with underclassmen this season, head coach Fred Galiote said.
“We are going to have a young team this year,” the ninth-year coach said. “I am confident they will be very competitive.”
The defending District 5 champions finished with a 20-2 record last season, but return just seven letter winners.
Key players are listed as Allyson Lonas, Bobbi Sheeler, Chloe Reese, Abbie Livella and Erin Lischerlli.
There are 28 girls listed on the roster. Assistant coaches are Gary Hoffman and Scott Hostetler.
The Lady Red Raiders return a large group of letter winners from last years 5-12-1 team.
Eight of the 11 letter winners were starters for third-year head coach Nate Thomas.
“We are returning an experienced group of players that I feel will be successful if they remain healthy,” Thomas said. “I believe our six seniors will have a massive impact in our success this year, providing they use their instincts and keep their composure.”
Thomas said the main goal is to increase the current knowledge of the sport to his players. Secondary to that goal is to instill a progressive style of play while continuing the aggressive play shown last year.