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Cougar girls' soccer preview
DIXFIELD -- The Dirigo girls' soccer team is on the right path, but it will be up to the current group to prove just how far the path will lead.
The Lady Cougars have experience with seniors, including Larissa Bryant (forward), Alyssa Wade (midfielder captain), Paige Murphy (forward, captain) and Miranda Shurtleff (midfielder).
All the starters are back, minus Erin Turner, who graduated early. But Mariah Larsen (fullback) returns after missing all of her junior season from injuries suffered in a car accident just before preseason. She is a captain this season.
“Our biggest challenge will be playing as a complete team to bring out the best from all of our athletes,” said coach Art Chamberlin. “This team looks young on paper with only five seniors but we are returning all but one of the starters from 2010 and several of them are juniors who played significant varsity time as freshman.”
The team finished strong 10-3-1 and earned a home playoff game. The postseason results was deja vu because the Cougars lost in penalty kicks for the second straight year.
Juniors are equally strong with forwards Addy Fuller, Natalie Bolduc (forward, capt.) and Silvia Lutick. Michelle Morrison is a midfielder. Bolduc was the leading scorer and will continue to be a key part of the offense. A key will be having others step-up to balance the scoring.
“We have experience and pretty good depth,” said Chamberlin. “Our defense kept us in most of our games last season and we are returning all of the defense plus Mariah Larsen who started at fullback in '09."
The defense will be solid with Ambyr Wlson (stopper), Kayla Gaudin (fullback), Gretchen Bradbury (back) and Samantha Morse (back) fronting goalie Natasha Deroche. Dominique Flagg, Jenn Smith (back) and Casey Dumond (midfielder) played JV.
Sophomores Lindsay Crutchfield (forward) and Bryce Parent (D/GK) received quality playing time.
Showing promise are freshmen Megan Bradbury, Gabby Scott, Tymeka Cheadle, Kaitlyn Morang, Tamyra Steward and Summer Keim, as well as sophs. Destiny Newton, Kyrstal Blood and Sam Cote,
“To go deeper into the playoffs this season, we will need to continue to play good defense and improve offensively,” said Chamberlin. “The girls have high expectations and have set team and personal goals.”