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Second-year Lancaster High School girls soccer coach Ed Humphrey is confident his Lady Bruins’ team can produce more success than his first squad.
The 2013 team went 7-11, including a 5-9 mark in region play, but began making key strides at the end of last season.
“If we play together and play as a team, we are quite capable of having our share of success,” he said. “We have our share of talent and experience and it boils down to playing as a unit.”
The Lady Bruins have proved they are quite capable on the pitch this spring.
Lancaster opened the season, winning the Lugoff-Elgin Kickoff Classic. The LHS girls topped county rival Indian Land, rated third in Class A-AA girls, to take the crown at Lugoff-Elgin High School.
The LHS girls are 5-2, including a 2-1 region mark, after an 11-0 region home win over York.
The Lady Bruins are bolstered by the return of 13 players, including three-time team MVP and all-region pick Frances Whitesides, the team captain.
Whitesides, a striker midfielder, is headed to Presbyterian College to play for the Blue Hose next season.
She has plenty of help in sophomore striker Peyton Patterson, the team’s 2013 Rookie of the Year. Senior midfielder Hannah Knight, who won the Bruin Award, also returns.
Senior veterans include keeper Effie Spears, center defender Mary Sizemore, defender Haley Kee and keeper Kenyatta Robertson.
The LHS juniors returnees include midfielder Brooke Humphrey along with defenders Lizzie Cauthen and Gena Caskey.
Sophomore returnees include Patterson along with center-defender Gracie Scott, striker Hayden Thorne and midfielder Kayla Bailey.
The first-year varsity players feature senior midfielder Aliyah Davis, junior midfielder Jesse Dukes and sophomore midfielders Ashlee Lane, Alexa Roman, Amber Fleming along with strikers Brittany Turner and Mallory Cauthen. Dukes is an Irmo transfer.
Lane earned the Junior Lady Bruins Most Improved Player Award last spring.
Freshman Kendra Haddox, who provides keeper depth, earned the Junior Lady Bruins MVP last season.
“We have a lot of talent,” Humphrey said. “Our goal is to compete for the region title and win our first playoff game. We are working on team building skills and trying to jell as a team.”
Humphrey said the LHS girls have made strides over the last few seasons, which is reflected in their schedule.
“We have moved from everybody’s senior night team to a team that can compete with the teams in our region and hopefully the state’s elite teams,” he said.
Humphrey said the LHS jayvee squad is young, but is working to boost the varsity.
“We have a lot of first-year players and we’re working with them to try to develop them into players,” he said. “We have our share of seniors, so we are building for the future.”
Humphrey is assisted by Kristen B. Haulsee, Karl Fritz and Kim Schuelke.