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Cougar girls' soccer preview
DIXFIELD -- The Dirigo girls' soccer team has been headed in the right direction for the past several years. It's been the second season that has proven to be the achilles heal, but 2012 represents a new campaign and it will be up to the current group to prove just how far the path will lead.
The team finished strong last year, reaching double-digit wins again.
The Lady Cougars have experience with seven senior returning starters in Natasha Deroche (keeper, captain), Kayla Gaudin (fullback), Ambyr Wilson (stopper), Gretchen Bradbury (back), Michelle Morrison (halfback), Natalie Bolduc (striker, captain), Addy Fuller (forward).
"Our goal is to get back to the level that the 2010 and 2011 teams achieved and strive to take the next step,”said coach Art Chamberlin. “Teamwork will be what makes that an achievable goal."
Bolduc was the leading scorer again and based on her speed, will continue to be a key part of the offense. A key will be having Fuller and others step up to balance the scoring.
The defense kept the Cougars in a majority of games last season and will be counted on heavily again.
Deroche recorded several shutouts en route to earning MVC all-star honors. There will be plenty of support, with Wilson, Gaudin and Bradbury each manning the same position.
Chamberlin has said that to go deeper into the playoffs the team needs to continue to play good defense and improve offensively.
Some key losses include Alyssa Wade (center mid-captain), Paige Murphy (forward captain), Miranda Shurtleff (halfback), Mariah Larsen (fullback, captain), Dominique Flagg (reserve).
The four starting spots will be filled by senior forward Casey Dumond or juniors Krystal Blood, Lindsy Crutchfield, Destiny Newton, Bryce Parent, Montana Sawtelle and Lauren Henderson.
Look for the team to build depth with sophomores Gabby Scott (D); Megan Bradbury (MF); Tymeka Cheadle (D); Kaitlyn Morang (D/F) and Summer Keim (F). A very good group of freshmen include Celine Bolduc, Summer Bradbury, Nicloe Dumond, Ellie Jasper, Mariah Lefleur, Julie Levesque, MacKenzie Lord, Anna Morrow, Kylie Palmer, Sela Smith and Sabrina Daoud.