|02/27/12 - |
Lady Cougar Soccer Opens This Week
Ada returns eight starters off last year’s 6-7 squad, but Morrison said his girls will have to outwork, rather than “out-skill” most of their opponents this season.
“I’ve seen a lot of good work, but our skill is still lacking a little bit,” he explained. “We’re not going to be able to out-skill a lot of people, but we’re darn sure going to outwork them. This junior class I have has been with me since they were freshmen, and they are all hard workers.
“Our numbers are way down — we’re at 15 girls,,” Morrison said. “But it’s 15 girls who are willing to put in hard work and take a step forward.”
The Lady Cougars should be solid at the back of their defense, where goalkeeper Taryn Jack is entering her fourth year as a starter.
“She’s got her mind set on a great year,” Morrison said of Jack. “She’s doing everything I’m asking her to do. She’s fun to watch because of her intensity.”
Morrison lost All-Stater Laura Reihart off his back line, but he said seniors Madison Gillispie and Blakeley Franz and a group of younger players appear capable of picking up the slack.
“Blakeley Franz came out last year and really helped us, I have a sophomore, Roudee Humphers, who really transformed herself last year,” he explained. “"Madison Gillispie has been a starter since her freshman year, and I have a freshman, Taylor Hodges, who is going to step in at left fullback and I think she’s going to help us.
“We lost 9-1 to Durant last year,” Morrison said. “We had some defensive mistakes on some breakaways and gave up some goals (in last week’s scrimmage), but other than that we played them head-to-head.”
Juniors Leah Huling and Bree Foster lead a group of midfielders that could become one of the team’s strengths by season’s end.
“Leah is an outstanding athlete,” Morrison said of Huling, who is also the No. 1 pitcher on the Ada softball team. “She came in her freshman year not really knowing a lot about soccer, but she’s developed into a good skill player. Her knowledge of the game is really coming along. She and Breann Foster have a work ethic that’s contagious.”
Huling and Foster will joined by veteran Jordan Spiveys and Amaris Smitherman and newcomer Kyler Gilliam in the rotation at midfield.
“Kyler was surprising (at the scrimmage) — she’s going to add some speed for us,” Morrison said of Gilliam. “Jordan Spivey is probabloy the most experienced skill player we have. She has a strong leg and a good knowledge of the game.
“(Smitherman) emerged as a freshman,” he said. “She’s up there because of her speed. I think we can create some breakaways with her up there.”
Morrison said the team’s preparation so far has everybody associated with the Ada soccer program looking forward to the 2012 campaign.
“We’re really anxious to get the season started,” he said. “As far as the work ethic and team chemistry, I see kids who are willing to work hard, and I’m pleased with that.”