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Kicking It

2018 Girls Soccer Outlook: Area teams feature mix of veterans and youth

Girls Soccer Outlook

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Camden captain Drew Harnly (1) will look to lead the Lady Bruins to a strong season in the Albemarle Athletic Conference.

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By Craig Moyer
Sports Writer

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

As the five area girls soccer teams return to the field, they will be looking to contend for titles in the realigned conferences, as well as fighting to earn a spot in the state playoffs.

The team’s will all look to returning starters and veteran players, as well as younger players and first-year starters to step up and lead them to strong seasons.

Six of the 12 players named to last year’s All-Area team return this season, including four for Currituck, the area’s most successful team last year.

Currituck will look to battle First Flight for a Northeastern Coastal Conference title, while Northeastern and Pasquotank will look for improved seasons in the NCC.

Edenton will now compete at the 1A level, where they will battle with Camden and Manteo in the Albemarle Athletic Conference.

 

Here is more on the area girls soccer teams:

CAMDEN

Coach: Chuck Leslie

Last season’s record: (7-10-2, 3-1-0 Coastal 10 Conference)

Outlook: The Lady Bruins return six starters from last season’s team and will look to use their increased knowledge of the game and improved game play to their advantage this year.

The team will look to build of their play last season, as they finished tied with Manteo atop the Coastal 10 conference and made a trip to the 1A state playoffs.

Camden will have to look to replace their only All-Area selection from last season in Patricia Hornberger, who led the team in scoring.

The team does return All-Area honorable mentions Drew Harnly and Megan Bonilla, two of the six returning starters from last season.

Harnly, along with Emily Broyles and Jordan Bundy are the three seniors on the team for the Lady Bruins and will look to lead the team to success in their first season in the Albemarle Athletic Conference.

The AAC should be highly-competitive, as the Lady Bruins will have to challenge Edenton and Manteo for a conference title.

Bonilla, a junior, will be key to the team’s success at goalkeeper, while juniors Anna Mattix and Haley Loyd will also play a role for the team on offense.

Head coach Chuck Leslie said he is looking to Harnly and Broyles to lead the team as captains and is excited to see how the season unfolds.

The team begins their season today at home against Northeastern at 6 p.m.

CURRITUCK

Coach: Madison Phillips

Last season’s record: (19-3-0, 8-2-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference) 

Outlook: Of the six All-Area performers form last season to return to their teams this year, four of them are for the Lady Knights, who return all but one of their five selections in 2017.

Tatiana Kendzulak was the only senior All-Area selection for Currituck, as Area Player of the year Sarah Dover returns along with Kenzie Kelleher, Cara Spry and Kendal Cahill.

The Lady Knights’ only two losses in NCC play last season came to conference champion First Flight, who went undefeated in conference play and did not allow a single goal in 10 NCC contests.

Currituck returns most of their key players offensively from last season’s team that only lost three games and made a trip to the second round of the 2A state playoffs.

Head coach Madison Phillips noted that his team did lose some of their leaders on the defensive end, but expects returning players and some new players to rise to the challenge.

Currituck will have a tough task at hand, battling First Flight for a conference title, as the Lady Nighthawks only lost two seniors from last season’s team.

The Lady Knights appear to have the offensive firepower to challenge First Flight for the title, as well as make a run in the 2A state playoffs.

Currituck opened their season with a nine-goal performance against Cape Hatteras, led by Cara Spry with a hat trick.

Dover will look to defend her Area Player of the Year title in her senior season, as fellow seniors Anna Poston, Kelleher and Jenna Akers will look to be leaders for the team.

The Lady Knights will look to continue their strong play to begin the season as they host Cleveland Friday at 5:30 p.m.

EDENTON

Coach: Casey Abbott

Last season’s record: (12-6-1, 6-4 Northeastern Coastal Conference)

Outlook: The Lady Aces will look to build off of their strong play last season in the NCC, as they enter their first season in the new Albemarle Athletic Conference.

While Edenton loses All-Area selections in Natalie Rinehart and Ellie Gonzalez, they do return All-Area performer Anna Bass at goalkeeper.

Bass was named NCC goalkeeper and defender of the year last season, posting seven shutouts in her sophomore season.

The Aces have a young team this season, with Courtney Ranger and Kyra Bradley as the team’s only seniors.

Edenton will look for contributions from a large freshmen class this season, as the team has seven freshmen.

The team will have to battle with Camden and Manteo for the AAC title and will look to return to the state playoffs at the 1A level, as last season they fell in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.

The Lady Aces host First Flight today for their first home game of the season at 6 p.m.

NORTHEASTERN

Coach: Elizabeth Sundberg

Last season’s record: (6-13-2, 4-6-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference)

Outlook: The Lady Eagles return six starters from last season’s team that finished fourth in the conference and fell short of earning a spot in the 2A state playoffs.

Northeastern will have to replace their two All-Area selections from 2017 in defender Deanna DeLaVergne and midfielder Anne Claire Foreman.

Senior Caroline Shubel will look to lead the Lady Eagles defensively, as Madeline Twiford and Lizbeth Rodriguez-Roman will help lead the team on the offensive end.

Head coach Elizabeth Sundberg said the team has several underclassmen that will improve as the season goes on and they gain in-game experience.

Four freshman are expected to start for Northeastern, including goalkeeper Sydney Miller, defenders Abby Furst and Ellie Hornthal, as well as forward Abigail Midgette.

With the departure of Edenton from the NCC, the Lady Eagles will look to finish third in the conference behind First Flight and Currituck and contend for a spot in the state playoffs.

Northeastern opens their season today on the road against Camden.

PASQUOTANK

Coach: Craig Haist

Last season’s record: (2-11-1, 2-8 Northeastern Coastal Conference)

Outlook: Pasquotank will look to their eight returning starters to improve from last season when the team finished fifth in the NCC, with their only two wins coming over Hertford County, who finished without a win in tje 2017 season.

Two of those returning starters are Marissa Harris at center midfield and Mia Jernigan at striker, as both were named as honorable mentions on last season’s All-Area team.

Jernigan, along with Alex Quintero, Elisa Reed and Natalie Cranmer will look to improve the Lady Panthers’ offense in 2018, after the team struggled scoring goals last season.

The team was shutout in 10 of their 12 losses last season and will look to improve that facet of their game and hope to find their way into the win column more frequently this season.

First-year head coach Craig Haist said he is looking for his team to play quality soccer and improve on their overall record from last season.

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