With Southmont’s girl’s soccer team coming off a second straight sectional, North Montgomery’s record-breaking season and Crawfordsville’s boy’s .500 season, all six Montgomery County teams have high hopes for the upcoming season.
return depth and leadership
Crawfordsville’s girl’s soccer team looks to improve with a handful of returning varsity players.
“We have a good group of upperclassmen returning so using that leadership and knowledge, we hope to capitalize with that on the field,” Athenians coach Laurie Vellner said. “We are focusing on creating good offensive opportunities this year which will result in more goals to give us a better final outcome.”
In 2018 the Athenians finished the season 1-13-2. Their lone win came over Delphi, and they tied Benton Central and Sheridan. They scored only 16 goals on the season, and lost 10 to graduation between Olivia Barnett and Addie Laskowski.
Key Players Return
The Athenians do return seniors Faith Rogers, Kiara Martinez, Seirra Hutchison, and Jaden Azar from last season, and eight total starters.
“We have eight returning starting varsity players and that is a great position to start the season with,” Vellner said. “I am counting on that knowledge and confidence to be an area of strength, along with Hutchison in goal for her senior and fourth year starting.”
Crawfordsville opens the season on Tuesday at home against Faith Christian.
Cville boys ready to find out what they’re made of
Crawfordsville’s boy’s soccer team lost 12 seniors from last year’s team, but coach Marcus Hale is looking forward to the group he has back this season.
“Overall, we have a number of players who have worked very hard, and they are ready to step up,” he said. “We expect to compete and play hard every game.”
In 2018 the Athenians finished 9-9-1 overall, and 4-3 in Sagamore Conference play. They were the county champions, and lost 3-2 in the sectional to Frankfort.
Many Players To Step Up
In addition to Nick Wolcott, Javier Hernandez, Tristen Bronaugh, Kevin Barrera-Chinchill, and Landon Timmons returning, Hale also expects Eli Reeves, Edwin Gil, Alex Caballero, and Joseph Sanchez to step up this season for the Athenians.
“We have several players who have played a lot of games, and we expect to play with a lot of effort every game,” he said.
As always the Athenians enter the season hoping to compete for county, conference, and sectional titles. They last won a sectional title in 2016. Crawfordsville will open the season today at 10 a.m. at home against Faith Christian.
Chargers return top two scorers
North Montgomery’s girl’s soccer team had a record-breaking season last fall, and are eager to see what they can do this season.
“We are excited,” coach Julie Hodges said. “The team is ready to go and we are expecting to have a great year. We have a lot of returners who have tested the success we had last year, and are ready to improve on that and exceed last year’s achievements.”
In 2018 the Chargers finished the season 9-7-1 overall, and 3-4 in Sagamore Conference play. They were the county champions, and lost 3-1 to Tri-West in the sectional.
Key Pieces Back
The Chargers return nearly their entire offense from a season ago — including their top two goal scorers in Sidney Campbell and Lydia Dugard. As a sophomore Campbell scored 20 of the Charger’s 38 goals, while Dugard netted four. Sydnee Turner returns as a goalie that played some varsity as a freshman and defender Kelsey Anderson.
North Montgomery doesn’t want to stop at the success they had last year, and have already set lofty goals for this season.
“We have a goal to retain our county crown,” Hodges said. “By winning county again, that also gives us 2 conference wins. With several more, we would definitely like to be in the top half of the conference. The big conference goal would be to compete with everyone in the conference, even the top 2 or 3 teams that seem to run away with it every year.”
The Chargers open the season on Tuesday at Benton Central.
North hopes to improve play
The North Montgomery boy’s soccer team wants to improve on last season, and they have the players returning to do just that.
“My outlook for the season is that the team will be competitive in games,” first-year coach Tristain Hall said. “In that I also expect the team to improve on the course of the season.”
In 2018 the Chargers finished 3-14 overall, 1-6 in Sagamore Conference play, and lost in the sectional 1-0 to Crawfordsville.
With a roster full of young faces Hall is going to rely on his captains to lead the team.
“I expect our captains — Baydin Hall, Colby Coon, and Avery Stevens to lead the team,” he said. “With a large amount of new faces to the soccer program I’m expecting these gifted players to lead the team and help the newer athletes to the sport improve which they have been doing since the beginning of the season.”
Hall also has high hopes for Cooper Bowman and Nick Sommer to continue to help the Chargers improve.
An area that North Montgomery finds itself strong in is team atmosphere.
“The team has a positive attitude and are having plenty of fun at practice which has helped the team improve overall,” Hall said.
North Montgomery opens the season at home on Monday against Covington at 5:30 p.m.
Mounties hope to retain success
The Southmont girl’s soccer team enters the season following back-to-back sectional titles, and with new coach Phillip Keller, the plan is to retain the same success.
“We graduated two key seniors last year, but we have a solid returning group,” he said.
In 2018 the Mounties finished 6-11-2 overall, and 1-6 in Sagamore Conference play, but won an IHSAA Class 2A Sectional with wins over Greencastle and North Putnam, before falling to Covenant Christian in the regional.
Scorers Are Back
Last season the Mounties scored 33 goals on the season, 27 of them by Marissa Craig, and Lexie Odum. Both strikers return this fall.
Defend The Sectional
The top goal for the Mounties this season is to once again defend their sectional title and make it three-in-a-row.
“I have expectations for this season and I believe we will be able to achieve great things,” Keller said. “Our strength as a team is that all of the girls will be willing to work hard for one another and that they will always be supportive of their teammates. They come in everyday willing to lean new things and work hard.”
Southmont opens the season today at home against Monrovia at 11 a.m.
Youth fills South’s roster
Southmont’s boy’s soccer team is full of youth, but that isn’t deterring coach Brandon Rash away from having a lot of faith in his team.
“We are young, but our effort is through the roof,” he said. “I firmly believe we are on of the hardest working teams. Our skills will come around as long as we keep up the hard work in practice.”
In 2018 the Mounties finished the season 2-12-2 overall, and 2-5 in Sagamore Conference play, and lost to Frankfort 2-0 in the sectional.
A handful of upperclassmen return for the Mounties, but Rash knows younger players will have to step up in key spots as varsity players.
“I am looking for big things from our seniors to step up as leaders,” he said. “Also our juniors will need to step up as leaders. Not only that, but being a young team I am going to need some younger guys to step up and show they can play on a varsity field. We have spits open, so whoever earns in practice will get a chance.”
Increasing Technical Skill
If Southmont is to improve their record from a season ago, they will need to become smarter players.
“We need to work on the more technical side of soccer,” Rash said. “When to push up, when to stay back, when to counter attack, when to push out the wings, and different situational things that are ongoing during a game.”
Southmont opens the season on Tuesday at home against Lafayette Central Catholic.