What's up with Shorter?August 24 2012 at 1:56 PM
Shorter Soccer: Experienced Lady Hawks looking forward to upcoming season
by Shorter reports
A year ago they had to deal with more than their share of trials and tribulations, especially early on when injuries took a disproportionate toll on the roster, and did so knowing that the experiences would pay off in the long run.
That time has now come as the Lady Hawks, who return a nearly intact lineup for the season, are poised to make a quick statement that they are ready to compete this year as an NCAA Division II member of the Gulf South Conference.
Things look really good, third-year head coach Jennifer Colley stated as Shorter prepares for the new season with a deep group of seasoned players. Were still battling a few injuries and keeping our returning players healthy is our main goal, she added, referring to what the team faced during the preseason a year ago when three key starters were lost before the season even began, the biggest blow coming in the first exhibition game when a pair Lady Hawks went down.
Theyre excited and glad to be back, and theyre excited about playing in a new conference and excited about having a chance to play for a [National Christian College Athletic Association] championship, said Colley.
From one end of the field to the other, the Lady Hawks will be blessed with a wealth of players to go to.
There is experience with putting the ball into the back of the net or denying foes from doing it, and Colley is making sure that Shorter makes the most of it.
Were looking at some different formations and tweaking a few things.
What might not need that much change is that the Lady Hawks will feature some offensive firepower upfront as all three starters from last years team that posted a 7-12 record will be back in those positions.
Fifth-year senior Brandi Greenwald of Kingston returns after scoring 10 goals and dishing out eight assists last season, junior Aline Bez Tamiosso of Brazil led the team in 2011 with 13 goals and added seven assists on the way to earning all-conference honors, and junior Kelli Davis of Peachtree City returns fresh from adding six goals and four assists in the previous season.
In the midfield, fifth-year senior captain Mary Kate Lollar of Appling returns after missing all of last year when she had a season-ending injury in the preseason exhibition, and heads up another group of veterans that include junior Jessica Wright of Kennesaw and sophomore Cintia Lamas of Brazil, who came back from an early-season injury to claim all-conference honors with three goals and two assists.
Then there is the defensive savvy the Lady Hawks boast, one that includes junior and 2011 all-conference pick Helena Farinha of Brazil; redshirt junior Samantha Stephens of Powder Springs, who was lost last season in the same exhibition match as Lollar; junior Kelly Crawford of Marietta; sophomore Diamond Davis of Cramerton, N.C., and sophomore Kaity Potter of Jacksonville, Fla., who is recovering from an off-season injury and is hoping to see action after the season begins.
Capping the long list of already-tested Lady Hawks is senior keeper Taylor Hays of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., who posted a 2.39 goals against average with school-record 105 saves last season, and during her stellar three-year career at Shorter boasts a solid 1.87 GA mark and has team-record 260 saves.
The experience factor doesnt end there. Adding to the teams strength includes seniors Kayla Bell of Rome and Tori Watson of Cumming; red-shirt sophomore Carleigh Butcher of Monroe; and sophomores Jessica Yeargin from Jasper and Kalley Estep from Peachtree City.
Hoping to add their talent and skills to the Lady Hawks winning formula is a transfer and five true freshmen. Sophomore transfer Katie Stachula of Chicago, who played at Trinity Christian last year, comes to Shorter as a goalkeeper and will be counted on to deepen the Lady Hawks ranks; freshmen Aarika Znosko of Atlanta St. Pius X, Katelyn Mullenix of Watuaga, N.C., Gabby Steele of Orlando, Fla., Heather Fox of Jasper all have the opportunity to see playing time this season. Goalkeeper Haley Lademann of Flagler Beach, Fla., will be redshirted while she recovers from her knee injury.
The big difference is that there are no easy games this year, Colley said about the tough schedule that lies ahead for the Lady Hawks, one that includes having to face some well-establish Gulf South Conference foes. Every single week when we go out there, its all out.
Its a very hard schedule against a number of top 25 teams and there are some regional top 10s in our conference, the coach said. I think (the GSC) will be one of the toughest Division II conferences in the country.
After playing what Colley hopes will be a pair of injury-free exhibitions one Wednesday (8/22) at Ben Brady Field at 7 p.m., and the other at home on Saturday (8/25) at 5 p.m. the Lady Hawks opens the new season on the road travelling to St. Augustine, Fla., to face host Flagler on Sept. 30 and Palm Beach Atlantic on Sept. 1.
We have an extremely competitive group of players, said Colley, and they are excited to get going.
Read more: RN-T.com - Shorter Soccer Experienced Lady Hawks looking forward to upcoming season
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