Panthers putting puzzle together 1993 high school girls soccer preview North Carroll

September 08, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

North Carroll coach Phil Myers sees a lot of athletic ability in his young squad. Now it's just a matter of them putting all the pieces together to make a solid cohesive unit.

"It's too early into the season to tell exactly where we'll be. Whave a lot of good athletes and we're working very hard. We're going to be young," Myers said.

"We're still moving people around and trying some differencombinations. It just takes some time when you have a lot of young players."

Plenty of questions still need to be answered as the Panthers try to reload after a solid 1992 season in which they reached the region finals.

Finding a way to replace Ashlee Douglas and her county-leading goals and seven assists appears to be the toughest challenge. Not only did Douglas bring plenty of offensive firepower, but she also was a strong team leader.

Also gone are durable defenders Michele Jeffery and Tammy Giffi -- both All-County players last year.

"We lost two All-County fullbacks and Ashlee Douglas, an All-State player, up front," Myers said.

have to get a number of players to offset the goals Ashlee scored for us. Getting them an opportunity to work together is the key."

Myers is hoping senior Jenny Baker -- the lone returnee up front with varsity experience -- can carry some of the scoring load. She will be joined by junior newcomers Carrie Hale and Cori Bradford.

The Panthers have three players returning at midfield -- led by senior Casey Rhoten, who will try to take control in the middle. Sophomores Christina Crouse and Julie Baker will provide support on the sides. Newcomers who will get a chance are juniors Jen Rongione, Jenny Cockey and Tracy Gross.

Despite the loss of two All-County performers, defense appears to be the strength of the team with plenty of experience returning.

Junior goalie Teresa Mays had a solid sophomore campaign and should be even better this year. She's an aggressive keeper with soft hands and should be ready to emerge as a leader.

The Panthers will need a big lift from the defense if the offense has trouble finding the net.

Senior Hope Swedberg and Kelli Ryan return along with junior Amber Fleming. Junior newcomers Becky Shanks, Melissa Wilfong and Kristin Finch also will fit into the puzzle.

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