Fayette County

Girls' soccer: Lexington team previews

Bryan Station

Coach: Renee Miller (first season)

Record: 10-11-1 (lost in first round of district tournament)

Top players: Lucille Lucas (sr., defender); Lauren Birch (sr., defender); Hallie Scanlon (so., midfielder); Hannah McGoodwin (so., forward); Chelsea Gess (jr., forward/midfielder)

Outlook: The Defenders won seven of their final eight games last season and seem to be moving the program in a positive direction, which new coach and former Station alum Miller hopes to continue. The Defenders graduated just three players and return a large crop of their talent, which is distributed around every third of the field. Coaching transitions are never without difficulties, but Miller hopes to keep this one as seamless as possible. She says a winning season is more than possible and likes the team's defense and the camaraderie. Leading scorer Danielle Kane graduated, but look for McGoodwin, Gess and Scanlon to be scoring threats. Miller said a good group of seniors have vast soccer knowledge and have been helpful bringing the younger players along.

Defenders' schedule

Mon.—at Paris; Thurs.—at Berea, 7; Sat.—at Ludlow, 5:30; Aug. 26—Beechwood, 6; 28—at Corbin, noon; 31—Tates Creek, 7:30;

Sept. 7—Henry Clay, 8; 11—at Owen Co., TBA; 14—Frankfort, 5:30; 16—at Bath Co., 6:30; 23—Scott Co., 7:30; 28—Western HIlls, 8; 29—at Sayre, 5:30;

Oct. 2—Walton-Verona, 11 a.m.; 4—at Paul Dunbar, 8; 7—Estill Co., 6.

Henry Clay

Coach: Mebit Aragaw (fifth season, 25-23-10)

Record: 13-6-2 (lost in sub-sectionals)

Top players: Kayla Price (sr., goalkeeper); Rachel Geil (jr., defender); Emily Rodes (jr., defender); Allison Graul (sr., defender); Olivia Max (jr., forward/midfielder); Ginny Hoyt (jr., midfielder)

Outlook: Expectations are high this season for the Devils, who return a large portion of their talent from last season's sub-sectional run, including leading scorer Max, who had 11 goals and three assists in 18 games. Price returns for her senior season in goal after giving up just 11 goals and shutting out 14 teams last season. She anchors a stingy, stubborn defense that returns every starter and they could make scoring difficult for every opponent. Aragaw said the Devils need to find other ways to score than through Max. They managed just 29 goals last season. He said other players have been working hard in the off-season to take the scoring load off of Max. Look for freshman striker Lindsay Elsen to be a potential difference maker.

Devils' schedule

Mon.—Fayette Co. Soccer Frenzy vs. Paul Dunbar; Wed.—FCSF vs. Anderson Co., 8; Sat.—FCSF vs. South Laurel, 10 a.m.; Aug. 24—at Lexington Christian, 7:30; 30—at Scott Co., 7:30;

Sept. 1—Sayre, 7; 7—at Bryan Station, 8; 9—West Jessamine, 8; 11—Father Ryan (Tenn.), 5; 13—at Madison Central, 7:30; 15—at Lafayette, 8; 20—at Tates Creek, 8; 22—Nelson Co., 7; 25—Tates Creek Soccer Showcase vs. Male, TBA; 28—at Lexington Catholic, 8;

Oct. 5—Paris, 8.

Lafayette

Coach: Laura Oppegard (third season, 5-32-2)

Record: 2-15-2 (lost in first round of district tournament)

Top players: Olivia Gipson (sr., midfielder); Stephanie Morgan (sr., defender)

Outlook: It's been a rough couple of years for the Generals, who went 5-32-2, but Oppegard is optimistic about the future. She likes the team's potential, especially with an influx of young talent. "With strong returning players and a talented incoming class, this team will be looking to turn the past few years around and get back on the right track," Oppegard said. The coach said the team shows defensive promise as well as impressive play in the midfield, but it has to find a way to get the ball in the goal after scoring seven times all of last season. Newcomers Margaret Kelly and Rachael Roberts show promise.

Generals' schedule

Tues.—Fayette Co. Soccer Frenzy at Henry Clay vs. Tates Creek, 8; Thurs.—FCSF at Henry Clay vs. Boyle Co., 6; Sat.—FCSF at Henry Clay vs. Woodford Co., noon; Aug. 23—at Madison Central, 7:30; 31—at Paul Dunbar, 8;

Sept. 2—East Jessamine, 7:30; 11—at Lexington Catholic, 7; 13—West Jessamine, 7:30; 15—Henry Clay, 8; 21—at Lexington Christian, 7:30; 23—Nelson Co., 7; 25—Ashland Blazer, noon; 27—at Model, 5:30;

Oct. 2—Danville, 1; 5—at Madison Southern, 6; 7—Harrison Co., 8.

Lexington Catholic

Coach: Terry Quigley (19th season, 316-147-14)

Record: 19-5-1 (lost in semifinals of state tournament)

Top players: Mary Catherine Combs (sr., midfielder); Erin Prater (sr., forward); Mary Beth Gorham (so., forward)

Outlook: Quigley has nine quite large sets of cleats to fill this season, including the team's leading goal scorer in Chelsea Smith (26 goals). Catholic returns just three starters from last year's state semifinalists, but don't feel too sorry for the Knights. They still have a lot of young talent, it's just a matter of bringing it together, Quigley said. "I expect us to have trouble connecting in the beginning," he said. "There's a lot of learning to be done, but we're not bereft of talent." Look for Prater and speedy Gorham to pick up much of the scoring load. Many of the players on this year's Catholic team were role players last year who will be expected to pick up where that team left off. After several seasons waiting her turn, Fitzgerald moves into the goal full-time. She will try to duplicate the success of Ciara Thomas, who allowed just 16 goals and recorded 12 shutouts.

Knights' schedule

Mon.—Sacred Heart; Sat.—at Notre Dame, 3; Mon.—Anderson Co., 7; Aug. 26—at Highlands, 7;

Sept. 3—at Lady Eagle Invitational, Zionsville, Ind., vs. Tates Creek, 6:45; 8—Paul Dunbar, 7; 11—Lafayette, 7; 13—Elizabethtown, 8; 20—Lexington Christian, 6; 22—at St. Henry, 7:30; 27—at East Jessamine, 7:30; 28—Henry Clay, 8; 30—Boyle Co., 8;

Oct. 2—West Jessamine, 7; 4—at Woodford Co., 7.

Lexington Christian

Coach: Steve Fugmann (second season, 13-5-2)

Record: 13-5-2 (lost in district tournament semifinals)

Top players: Maddie Boone (sr., midfielder); Alison Braun (sr., defender); Rachel Cox (sr., midfielder); Madison King (sr., midfielder); Lauren Potter (sr., midfielder); Myranda Powers (sr., goalkeeper); Morgan Thaxton (sr., defender); Jenna Wooten (sr., midfielder)

Outlook: This is the kind of season every coach dreams of, with a dominant, impressive senior class. Fugmann is definitely optimistic. "This is a great class in every way, shape and form," he said of his seniors. "They're hard-working. They're all leaders." With her 21 goals and 19 assists from last season, Boone is a force on offense, scoring more than a third of the team's goals last year. Braun, Powers in goal, and Thaxton help anchor a solid defense that allowed just 20 goals last season. Fugmann would like to see the team continue to improve defensively, especially in a difficult district with a lot of weapons. Depth could be an issue, as it usually is with the small school, so the team will need to stay healthy to contend. If things come together the way the coach hopes, senior-dominated LCA could upset some teams.

Eagles' schedule

Sat.—Newport Central Catholic, 4; Aug. 24—Henry Clay, 7:30; 28—Sayre, 10 a.m.; 31—East Jessamine, 7;

Sept. 7—Boyle Co., 7:30; 15—at West Jessamine, 7:30; 20—at Lexington Catholic, 7; 21—Lafayette, 7:30; 25-26—Tennessee Tournament, TBA; 28—Woodford Co., 7:30;

Oct. 2—Paul Dunbar, noon; 5—Harrison Co., TBA; 8—at Tates Creek, 8.

Paul Dunbar

Coach: Emily Coleman (12th season, 99-80-13)

Record: 6-11-1 (lost in district semifinals)

Top players: Kelly Hammack (sr., defender); Rhiannon Laumas (sr., midfielder); Autumn Williams (sr., goalkeeper); Taylor Scott (sr., forward)

Outlook: The Bulldogs, playing in one of the state's most competitive districts, took their lumps last season, but Coleman hopes each of those lumps equals wins this season. "I'm hoping some of that experience last year will lead to something this year," she said. "Hopefully, they'll have more confidence." All but five seniors return and join a core group of youngsters that could make the Bulldogs dangerous come season's end. Coleman likes the group's willingness not only to work but to work together, fueled by solid leadership from the seniors. The Bulldogs, who scored only 18 goals last season, will need to find some more scoring options this season, which the coach expects to come via committee, not just one or two players up top.

Bulldogs' schedule

Mon.—Fayette Co. Soccer Frenzy at Henry Clay; Wed.—FCSF at Henry Clay vs. South Laurel, 6; Sat.—FCSF at Henry Clay vs. Anderson Co., 8 a.m.; Aug. 25—at West Jessamine, 7:30; 28—at Ballard, noon; 31—Lafayette, 8.

Sept. 3—at Rachel Hunter Tournament, Knoxville, TBA; 8—at Lexington Catholic, 7; 11—Russell, 3; 14—at Boyle Co., 6; 16—Little Caesar's Classic at Boyle Co. vs. Somerset, TBA; 23—Tates Creek, 8; 25—Eastern, 1; 28—Madison Southern, 8; 30—at East Jessamine, 7:30;

Oct. 2—at Lexington Christian, noon; 4—Bryan Station, 8; 6—Danville, 6:30.

Sayre

Coach: Erik Johnson (second season, 7-9-1)

Record: 7-9-1 (lost in district tournament semifinals)

Top players: Bea Cameron (sr., forward); Maddie Mitchell (jr., midfielder); Emma Mullins (sr., defender); Cami Croney-Clark (so., midfielder/forward)

Outlook: Longtime starters and leaders on each side of the ball, Anne MacNeil and Sally Henkel, have both graduated and a young group of Spartans will have to forge a path of their own this season. Johnson said the team will start several freshmen and much of the its success could rest on the shoulders of youngsters like Grace Rahman (defender) and Emma Henkel (midfielder). The young players are solid athletes with good skill levels, but they may take some lumps early in one of the state's most difficult districts. Sayre does return solid starters and leaders in Cameron, Croney-Clark and Mitchell in the midfield as well as Mullins on defense. Also, they've had a season under Johnson, which should make things easier.

Spartans' schedule

Mon.—at Scott; Wed.—Madison Central, 6; Sat.—Paris Relay for Life Cup, TBA; Aug. 28—at Lexington Christian, 10 a.m.; 30—Model, 5:30;

Sept. 1—at Henry Clay, 7; 8—at Tates Creek, 6; 11—Shelby Co., 1; 22—at Scott Co., 6; 27—at Harrison Co., 6; 29—Bryan Station, 5:30;

Oct. 4—John Hardin, 7; 7—Montgomery Co., 5:30.

Tates Creek

Coach: Bo Lankster (second season as girls' coach, 18-2-2; 170-86-22 in 13 seasons overall)

Record: 18-2-2 (lost in first round of region tournament)

Top players: Alyssa Kruse (sr., midfield/forward); Maggie Schlich (sr., defender); Jessica Carter (sr., midfielder); Maddie Smith (sr., forward); Meredith Chinn (jr., defender); Megan Poage (jr., midfielder); Kelsey Powell (jr., defender); Carleigh Adams (jr., forward); Kayla Willis (jr., defender); Lauren Childs (jr., defender)

Outlook: If there had been a pre-season coaches' poll, there's no doubt Tates Creek would be a top team on it with all but one key starter returning from last year's 18-2-2 team. With a beefed up schedule, the Commodores might not win 18 games this season, but the coach says they'll be well prepared heading into the post-season. The team has had a year under his system and has more depth and skill at nearly every position, making it dangerous. "They already understand our philosophy and they've come in playing at a different level," he said. The offense will add some new wrinkles with the addition of some "creative newcomers," he said. The key position player loss was longtime starter Kathryn Murray in goal. Lankster's daughter, sophomore Arly Lankster, will take over. She has a strong returning defense back to help ease the transition.

Commodores' schedule

Tues.—Fayette Co. Soccer Frenzy at Henry Clay vs. Lafayette, 8; Thurs.—FCSF at Henry Clay vs. Woodford Co., 8; Sat.—FCSF at Henry Clay vs. Boyle Co., 2; Aug. 25—Bourbon Co., 7:30; 31—at Bryan Station, 7:30;

Sept. 1—at West Jessamine, 7:30; 3-4—at Lady Eagle Invitational, TBA; 8—Sayre, 6; 13-18—Little Caesar's Classic at Boyle Co., TBA; 20—Henry Clay, 8; 23—at Paul Dunbar, 8; 25—at South Oldham, 6; 29—at Scott Co., 7;

Oct. 2—at Bowling Green, 4:30; 6—Nelson Co., 7:30; 8—Lexington Christian, 8.

Jennifer Smith

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