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Lady Admirals versatile, but depth an issue
preview: girls soccer

It's hard to know which unit — forward, midfield or defense — is the strongest for Dennis Lindsay's 2008 Farragut Lady Admirals soccer team.

It all has to do with coach Lindsay's “good problem,” the versatility among his most talented players.

“It depends on where I put my personnel,” he said about team strengths, though adding, “Team chemistry is a strength, they all get along real well together.”

But just where to place his top players is especially important where you consider the Lady Admirals' weakness: depth.

“If I put all my strongest players on defense, we’d have one of the strongest defenses — but the game would be right in our face the whole time,” Lindsay said. “I need to spread my wealth around so I can keep it even keel across the field.”

Comparing this team to the 2007 Lady Ads, “It's hard to replace the seniors we lost,” Lindsay said. “It should be a weaker team, but I’m not certain it's going to be because they're working hard together, the chemistry and everything.

“They might turn around and do pretty well,” he added. “I have some potential, if they'll develop that potential. That's a key to this team. The ones with athletic ability, if they develop to their potential we'll be a very good team.

“We have the athletic ability, it's just that some of them haven't played at the level that we need ’em to play at. I've got some pretty good, athletic freshmen that need to step up a little bit. They need to be able to help us down the stretch.”

Lindsay said that offensively, he'll be counting on offensive production from sophomore forward Ashley Reveiz, a big offensive contributor last year as a freshman. “I'm going to have to count on her as one of our scorers,” the coach said. “Very good athlete, has the ability to score goals.”

Senior tri-captain Alyssa Dresen, an All-state midfielder last season, “never gets tired, she works her butt off the entire game,” Lindsay said.

Dresen said, “I want us to get to state — I'm not gonna lie — that's our main goal as a team, and we're going to do everything in our power to get there.

“We have come in the best shape that we have ever come in for pre-season,” she added. “We've worked all summer as a team, we've been doing weightlifting. ... We are the most prepared we've ever been, I feel, for this season.”

Junior stopper Mary Cathryn Suhocki, am All-Region 2-AAA honoree last season, “is a very skilled person, very knowledgeable of the game,” Lindsay said. “She's just an all-around great player. I think highly of her, she's the key to our defense. She doesn't have any weaknesses.”

Senior sweeper Mindy Hopkins, also All-Region in 2007, “is a very skilled player, has the ability to score,” Lindsay said. “She's playing real well.”

Hopkins, a tri-captain, said she wants to play sweeper, adding, “it's kinda growing on me. I wasn't sure when coach first mentioned it, but I kinda like it back there. I like being able to see everything, and I like seeing how we work together. It's really nice to watch.

“I think I have a great defense that listens and knows, and I feel like they know what I'm expecting and they are very prepared to do whatever's necessary.”

Junior midfielder/defender Lauren Ward “is looking real well this year, she's a skilled player, very good passer, understands the game real well,” Lindsay said. Junior defender Jordan Hogan was a late-season starter in 2007, while junior defender/forward Ruth Cook “has improved immensely since last year,” Lindsay said. “She's very fast.”

Junior forward Morgan Brandon, a transfer from Washington state, “is a very fast, feisty, aggressive-type player,” Lindsay said. “She's going to help us quite a bit.”

Senior midfielder-forward Whitney Newby, a tri-captain, “is very aggressive, plays with a lot of heart,” Lindsay said. “Gives everything she's got every minute she’s on the field.”

Newby said, “I really think we can get far. We have a lot of potential and a lot of talent. I really want to win state, it's been my dream since freshman year.

I just want one of those rings, and I want one so I can remember the rest of my life,” she added. “If we work hard, like we have been, I definitely think we can go all the way.”

In goal, senior Megan Buzzeo is back healthy after missing significant time last season due to injury. “She's going to be one of the better goalkeepers in the state,” Lindsay said. “She is looking good, she's making some very good saves this year.”

Sophomore defender/midfielder Amalia Beltran “is a very knowledgeable, very intelligent player, I can depend on either on defense or in the midfield to make the right decision,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay labels senior midfielder Devon Shanklin “skilled” with a “good shot.”

Other Lady Ads looking to contribute are Rebecca Perkins, Casey Shanklin, Skylar Brewer, Alli Randall, Rachel Clark, Amy Albaugh, Courtney Samry, Rachel Hill, Kallen Blankenburg, Ashley Rinehart, Kiley McCarley, Catherine Below, Alexa Samry, Peggy Pfeifer, Sydney Pemberton, Haley Dylewski, Julia Jennings, Haley Vandermeersch, Katelyn Leamon, Brooke Jenike, Lorena Wheatley and Melody Reeves.


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