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Depth, goalie sought by Lady Ads

You can be down on talent and still up with expectations if your connected with the Farragut High School girls soccer program.

Just listen to Casie Ulrich, senior All-state forward.

“We don’t have as strong a team as we’ve had in the past,” Ulrich said, but added, “I think we have a really good chance of winning state.

“We’ve got some really good freshman in, and we all have a huge amount of heart, and we all just want to play for each other.”

Goalkeeping, defensive speed and overall depth are huge concerns of the coaching staff.

With such concerns in mind, Ulrich admitted, “there is a little bit of added pressure just because I am a senior and we do want to win. But I think I can depend on my teammates to give me the ball, and me give them the ball.”

Despite missing the first five games in 2006 after knee surgery earlier that year — and limited to 20 minutes playing time the next five games — Ulrich led FHS in scoring with 24 goals.

Setting her mark at 30 goals for 2007, Ulrich said she “learned a lot in club season.”

Labeling Ulrich’s 24 goals, “a pretty solid performance,” FHS head coach Dennis Lindsay added, “If it hadn’t been for her coming in last year, we’d been hurting.”

Saying the 2006 District 4-AAA and Region 2-AAA Region champion Lady Admirals overachieved — also beating eventual state champ Bearden three times — “I believe we’re going to have to overachieve [in 2007],” Lindsay added.

Concerns? “Our starting keeper [junior Megan Buzzeo] broke her collarbone” and is out at least four more weeks, Lindsay said, adding it was a huge blow.

Freshman Rebecca Perkins was the only goalkeeper healthy as of mid-August. “It’s hard to go with just one keeper for a year,” Lindsay said. Freshman Kelsey Bellich was being considered as another goalkeeper candidate pending Buzzeo’s possible return.

Defensively, “We lost a lot of speed we can’t make up.”

Sophomore defender Mary Cathryn Suhocki, All-region as a freshman, does provide speed, Lindsay said. In fact, “She’s one of the better players in the state.”

Senior defender Shannon Schell returns from a torn ACL knee injury that kept her out last season. “She could be a big contributor this year,” Lindsay said.

As for recovering from the injury, “My knee’s never going to be the same, I’m missing three-fourths cartlidge in my right knee,” Schell said. “You have to suck it up ... play through it and work hard.”

As compared to 2006, “We don’t have the size, and we lost four great seniors, but the [2007] seniors we have this year are really going to make up for that loss,” she said. “This team has a lot of heart.”

Senior midfielder/defender Morgan Plum, All-region in ’06, “is a college prospect, very solid, fast, very skilled,” Lindsay said.

Junior All-Region 2-AAA midfielder/defender Alyssa Dresen “is probably the most energetic kid I’ve ever seen in my life,” Lindsay said. “She can run forever, never tires. Very fast. She’ll be one of the catalysts for the team.”

Junior midfielder/defender Mindy Hopkins “can play anywhere … she could be a difference-maker,” Lindsay said. “She can cover a lot of area. I’m just going to play her where I need her. Blazing speed, one of our best shooters.”

Junior forward Whitney Newby “is very aggressive, determined type player,” Lindsay said. “Gotta love her hustle.”

Among the freshmen, “Ashley Reveiz is looking real good at forward, she’ll start for us,” Lindsay said. “Fast, good shot.”

Depth-wise, Lindsay said, “If we have an injury or two, we could be hurting this year. But we do have some promising freshmen coming up that might fill the void.

“A few girls have improved their play, but I don’t want to comment on it until I see ’em play against high quality teams.”

Junior forward Devon Shankin “has a good shot, a very skilled player,” Lindsay said, while sophomore Rachel Hill is “a very fast forward. She might help us out down the stretch.”

Lindsay said sophomore Lauren Ward is “very skilled,” adding that sophomore Jordan Hogan is “showing some promise.”

Keys to success? “If the key players remain healthy, find a goalkeeper, and some freshmen, or somebody else, come around a little bit,” Lindsay said.

Assistant coach is Rachel Scalf.


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