Through the first three soccer practices of the preseason the Lady Cougars are wanting, searching and missing like a junkyard jalopy. The players are trying to get into sync. They are looking for better concentration and a few more net-grabbing goals. There has been some small improvement.
Lafayette Christian still believes it has what it takes to become a winner on the soccer pitch this year.
“We have a lot of potential, and we have strong legs,” said Katie Belle Oliver, the Lady Cougar junior midfielder. “We have a lot of (good) dribbling and passing.”
Cate Skipworth is responsible for some of that. She is a junior forward for the Lady Cougars, and she is looking to lead. Lafayette Christian could very well be a West Region contender in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association.
That is one of a wide array of team goals for the Lady Cougars and their coach, Shannon Powell. Lafayette Christian wants to do more than just show up and share a few laughs.
“We’re going to win some. We have a young team, and we only have one senior. The majority of our team is in the 10th grade, but we have some experience,” said Powell.
The Lady Cougars return five starting players with Oliver, Skipworth, sophomore goalkeeper Yuna Jeong, senior midfielder Breana Daniel and sophomore midfielder Clairanne Corbin. Those five girls are tight-knit, and they are expected to set an example for the rest of the Lafayette Christian soccer team.
“That leadership will help. Those girls can help the younger players,” said Powell.
Above all, the entire Lady Cougar team needs work, more polish and some additional elbow grease. The girls need to hustle. They need to dive for the ball, and the girls need to mix it up as much as possible.
Soccer is a contact sport.
“Everything depends on our attitude. We are expected to be leaders. We need to keep a positive mindset. We need to work on our touches. We need (better) ball control,” said Daniel.
Skipworth does not doubt that this Lady Cougar squad could be a force in the region and in the GICAA State Tournament.
“We have a good defense, and we get along. We’re strong. We just need to encourage each other,” said Skipworth.
The Lady Cougars will get their soccer season underway on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Praise Academy in Powder Springs. The first kick will take place at 4