“Our newcomers offer a mix of talent and add to our depth,” Renee Brennan said. “We’re looking forward to a great season.”
First-year head coach Jessica Klinger will have a few luxuries at her disposal this season, beginning with last year’s player of the year Taylor Cline.
Cline, a midfielder, had 52 goals and 12 assists last season. She will continue her career next year at Limestone (S.C.) College.
Two other seniors will make major contributions for the Leopards — attack Nadya Gutierrez and defender Sydney Smith, who will play at Mount Olive College next year.
Junior Dominique DiLandro will serve as a captain and join Cline in a strong midfield. Junior Emily Seward and sophomore Sarah Thompson add depth in the middle. Emma Gerhold will complement Smith on defense.
“We’re looking forward to a winning season and building each week,” Klinger said. “We have an incredible amount of talent on the team.”
The Rebels graduated nine players from last year — eight of whom were starters — giving coach Bruce Burhman a largely young and inexperienced team.
Three junior midfielders do return for South. Michaela Brewer is a strong two-way player, Heather Callahan is stronger offensively and will likely start at center, and Mikala Stephenson is a leader with excellent game sense, according to Buhrman.
The longtime coach sees promise from four youngsters: Freshman attack Soleil Chriest, sophomore middies Shania Deagrella and Olivia Shoop and sophomore defender Alyssa Garland.
“We’re diligently building our team anew,” Buhrman said. “The girls are positive and focused and they’re looking forward to the upcoming season.”
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