ELKIN — The Lady Eagles’ soccer team returns three all-conference players and an honorable mention from the 2012 squad that went 16-7.
In a quirk of roster, Surry Central doesn’t have any seniors or freshmen this season as the team is made up entirely of sophomores and juniors.
Without any seniors, the team is going to need some returning players to step up and take a leadership role in practice and games, said Coach Matt Richardson.
Of course, showing leadership in practice would require having practice. The Eagles have been hamstrung so far by both inclement weather and winter sports.
In an ideal situation, Richardson said, the team would have a couple of weeks of practice before playing their first game, but his squad had just one practice. Nearly half the team was busy playing basketball, he noted.
The coach said he hated to see the basketball team fall in the state playoffs, but it does fill out the roster.
Basketball players returning to soccer this spring are Sarah Bruce, Tess Dockery, Brooke Lewis and Mikayla Cox. Two sophomore players are trying out for soccer for the first time, too, in Kelsey Taylor and Marlee Wilmoth.
“We don’t have a huge team this year, but I feel like what we have is quality,” said Richardson.
Bruce and Dockery are two of the three returning all-conference players along with Haylee Harrison.
Joining them is junior Victoria Olchowoj, entering her third season as a starter.
“Victoria is a physical, determined player. She is in go mode all the time,” the coach said. “She’s a vocal leader, one that we will be looking to this year to be the backbone of the defense.”
Another three-year starter back on defense is Sophie Williams. The squad is set at keeper with Chandler Musson returning.
Sophomore Yasmin Vega started as a freshman. Richardson called her a “go-getter” who has improved since last year.
“We’re looking for good things from her,” the coach said of himself and assistant coach Blake Roth.
Also returning from last year are Maddy Snow and Laura Dobbins.
“Emilee Stanley worked hard in the offseason and has shown a lot of improvement so far,” he said. “We’re looking for good production from her on attack.”
The Eagles have a good core of returning starters and those who saw significant minutes off the bench, Richardson believed.
Since he hasn’t had the whole group together for long, he said he would be feeling his way through rotations as he subs in players.
Friday night game results
In their meeting against Elkin Friday, the Lady Eagles won 9-0.
In the first half, Emilee Stanley scored two, followed by one each from Sarah Bruce, Tess Dockery and Sophie Williams.
Then in the second half, Victoria Olchowoj scored, followed by Bruce’s second goal, one by Kelsey Taylor and a third goal by Bruce.