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The Lancaster Lady Bruins’ soccer team has a new look this spring as veteran assistant Ed Humphrey is leading the LHS squad as the Lady Bruins’ head coach.
“We want our team to represent LHS with quality, play tough every match and make the playoffs,” said Humphrey. “We are a good team, and when we play our game, we can play with any team. We must continue to believe in ourselves and win some of the close matches.
“We want to finish fourth or higher in the region,” Humphrey said.
Junior Effie Spears is the LHS captain and a third-year starter in goal for the Lady Bruins.
“She is the leader on the team and she has the ability to earn all-region honors,” Humphrey said. “She leads by example and is a great player to have on the team.”
He can also look to three seniors players, Brittany Aycock, Tyson Blanton and Reagan Latham.
Aycock will play striker, with Blanton on the wing. Latham, after missing last season, is back for her senior campaign and can play wing or striker.
“Reagan is very coachable and she has the willingness to play where she is needed,” he said.
In addition to Spears, the junior performers include Frances Whitsides, Haley Kee, Hannah Knight, Mary Sizemore and Kenyatta Robertson.
Whiteside, a two-rime all-region player who is hoping to make it three straight, has the ability to change a match in LHS’s favor.
Kee is one of the Lady Bruins’ top defenders known for her speed and fierce play.
Knight, who returns on the wing, is always striving to improve, while the versatile Sizemore is working with the defense and is able to play several defensive positions.
She is leading the defense while the LHS center defender is out with an injury.
Robertson, a first-year player, is the Lady Bruins’ back-up goalie, who is learning the game quickly and working to make a key contribution to the team.
The Lancaster High School sophomore soccer team members are Brooke Christensen, Brooke Humphrey, Lizzie Cauthen, Gena Caskey, Kayla Ewing and Najla Trotter.
Christensen is the defensive leader who has been out with a concussion, but is expected to return this week.
Humphrey, at striker and some center midfielder, is known for her good leg and the ability to see the field well. Humphrey and frosh player Peyton Patterson share the corner kick duties,
Cauthen, Caskey, Ewing and Trotter are first-year players, who are expected to contribute.
“All four of these girls are in their first year with our team and they continue to work and improve,” Humphrey said. “Kayla’s speed is an asset for us and Najla is showing major improvement in her punting an goal kicks.”
Kayla Bailey, Amber Fleming, Hayden Thorne and Patterson are first-year freshmen. Bailey, Fleming and Patterson played on the Junior Bruins’ team last season.
Thorne is regarded as one of the team’s main defenders.
“Hayden’s size and physical ability make her a stabilizing force in our defensive system,” Humphrey said. “She takes our goal kicks and part of the free kicks.”
Bailey is working at defender and wing, while Fleming is a striker. Patterson is a midfielder and striker.
Humphrey noted Patterson shares the corner kick responsibilities and has tallied with her foot and head this season.
“Our strengths are team chemistry, leadership and learning and implementing the new philosophy of possession soccer,” Humphrey said. “Our weaknesses are our lack of depth at wing and communication on the field. We’re too quiet among our players and we have to communicate better.”