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Lady Hawks
Hardin Valley Academy

Though nine starters return, Hardin Valley Academy girls soccer will be without its 2010 All-state defender (graduation) and last year’s leading scorer (left the team).

Mike McLean, HVA head coach, said he expects the Lady Hawks to contend for a District 3-AAA title.

However, “We need more goal scorers, we can’t rely on one or two girls,” McLean said. “I think this year it’ll be more of a team effort.”

Looking to step up and score goals is junior forward/midfielder Emily Smith, an All-District midfielder in 2010.

Saying last year’s Lady Hawks had trouble finishing goals, Smith said she’s been “shooting, shooting and shooting, trying to lower it in the corner [of the net]. I think I’m having success.”

Also, “I’ve picked up my fitness a lot,” she said.

Smith, junior Ellie Myrick and sophomore midfielder/forward Katie Filipowicz are expected to provide most of the scoring up top. “Ellie Myrick, she’ll probably be our leading goal scorer,” McLean said. “She’s smart, she makes a good run and she’s got an incredible left foot.”

As for one unit that might be ahead of the others, “It’s pretty even throughout, pretty solid throughout,” McLean said.

Senior Shelby Buchanan, a two-time All-District center-midfielder who moves to center-defender, said “it’s a big change … I’m having to re-learn a new position,” adding that McLean told her, “’I think you can step up at that position and play well.’”

Such confidence “makes me proud,” Buchanan added. “I’ve had to work hard at learning new positions. I think I’ve done well.”

Other key defenders include juniors Megan Camfield, Megan Hodge and Mackenzie Hodge. Senior defender/midfielder Maddie Beal will add depth.

“I think we’ll be pretty good in the back,” McLean said.

Further strengthening the defense, sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Beets “is projected to be one of the better keepers in the area,” McLean said. “We’ve got a great goalkeeper.”

Midfielders are seniors Emma Myrick and Taylor Smith and sophomore Stephanie Hamm.

Emily Smith said her team is trying to bounce back from a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Bearden in the Region 2-AAA semifinals last season.

However, witnessing the HVA boys soccer team’s Class AAA state title last May, “It’s inspired us, seeing them, with a three-year program, being able to win a big tournament like that,” Smith said. “And coach McLean was their coach.”

Buchanan said these Lady Hawks “have come together more and we’re bonding a lot, and that’s changed us a lot.”

Smith agreed. “I think we’ve come together more as a team,” she said. “Last year we had some injuries that kinda had taken us out there at the end of the season, where we couldn’t really perform well in the


“But we’re all healthy now, and coach is practicing us extra hard now,” she added.

Without its top goal scorer from last season, Buchanan said, “We’ve just had to practice a lot more with new players playing different positions.”

However, “I’m very confident we can do just as well,” she added. “We have other people who can shoot just as well, and they’ve been working really hard.”


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