Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lady ‘Cats to light up the scoreboard

March 16, 2006

Anybody who doesn't watch soccer because they think there isn't enough scoring might want to check out a Lady Bobcats game this year.

Second-year coach Kevin Vincent expects his team to put up some big numbers.

Vincent will be adding a few players to an offensive squad that already includes all-league forward Jessica Smith.

"With the addition of some of these new players, our offense should definitely be a strength," Vincent said.

Vincent is banking on the the team's scoring ability to lead him and his charges to a better record than last year's 4-12 mark. He has plenty of reasons to believe this year will be better. For one thing, it's his second season, so introductions are out of the way.

Basehor-Linwood also has seven starters returning from last year's squad and a much greater talent pool to draw from than in recent years. Vincent said the girls soccer program had just 13 players the year before he took over. That number increased to 24 his first year and is all the way up to 37 this season.

Sprinkled among those 37 are a number of beginners, but there's also plenty of experienced players in the fold. Kori Roberts returns to the critical goalkeeper position as a junior with plenty of starts already under her belt. Shannon Couch will team with Audrey Brock, who's returning from an ACL tear, to form a creative midfield duo. The team's greatest strength may be up front, though, where Smith and Laura Barger are the forwards.

"Laura Barger and Jessica Smith definitely know how to put the ball in the net," Vincent said.

Barger, Smith and the rest of the Lady Bobcats won't have to wait long for their first chance to bury the ball. Their first game is at home on Thursday, March 16 against Topeka's Cair Paravel High School. That's well before any of the other spring sports start up, but that's fine with Vincent.

"It's hard to gauge where the team is at until you get in competition," he said. "We've had several good weeks of practice and I think we're ready to go."

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