New names keep NC girls soccer rolling
August 23, 2012North Central Conference
Any fears that the New Castle girls soccer team might struggle this season because of graduation losses can now be put to rest.
The Trojans are already 4-0, the most recent victory being a 9-1 decision over Franklin County at home Tuesday.
Make no mistake: The team that won conference and sectional titles in 2011 took a major hit with graduation. It lost eight players, most of whom were regulars. Familiar names such as Maky Myers, Allyson Garrett and Kristen Werking are gone.
But a strong freshman class has filled the void. Coach Chris Tillett had five of them in the starting lineup against Franklin County.
"These freshmen came here at just the right time," Tillett said. "We needed a strong freshman class to replace all those girls that led us to a lot of wins over four years. They blend in very well with the older players. Once you're out here playing it, nobody thinks about what grade you're in."
New Castle got two goals in the first five minutes from sophomore Courtney Denney, the team's leading scorer so far this season. She headed in the first point on an assist from classmate Anna Smith. One minute later she kicked in a shot on a pass from Olivia Malott, one of the ninth-graders.
A few minutes later the two girls reversed roles, with Malott scoring on a pass from Denney. The latter then completed a first-half hat trick with another Malott assist to make it 4-0.
At that point Tillett made a mass substitution, something he did every 10 minutes. But the new players kept the momentum going.
"All of our girls did a nice job," Tillett said. "We were rotating players every 10 minutes, eight in and eight out, just try to work on our positions."
Alexus Preble got back-to-back goals midway through the first half, with Smith providing another assist. Later, with the regulars back in, Denney got her fourth goal to make it 7-0 at halftime.
Meanwhile, Trojan goalkeeper Sara Leyes could have done her homework or read a book in the first half, so infrequently did the Wildcats get near the goal. Leyes and her sub, Katie Larson, combined for just two saves in the entire game.
With a huge lead, the New Castle offense shifted into a lower gear for the second half. The Trojans did get two more goals: one by freshman Calissa Centner, the other by Malott, both unassisted.
Franklin County finally got on the scoreboard with eight minutes left, as Deborah Weidner kicked one in.
The Trojan girls are at home today against Muncie Burris.