Leesville women’s soccer is starting its 2016 season. Compared to last year, there are more girls trying out. The team’s 2015 season had about 45 girls, and this year there are 60 girls trying to make the cut.
“As far as the numbers, any time [there are more people] I think inevitably the skill level will be better and there will be a bigger pool of talent,” said Sarah Cade, JV head coach.
Since there is more talent and there is a larger group of girls trying out “a) the competition will be a little bit better and b) the decision is going to be harder which is the part of the job I don’t like,” said Cade.
Leesville’s soccer program is nothing to joke about and is held at a high standard by the players and coaches.
Rachel Golden, a junior, said, “I think expectations are always high, but it’s whether or not we meet that standard, and I think this year we have a better chance of meeting those standards.” The level of motivation and work ethic displayed this year has proven the already known fact.
Players who were on the team last year have created personal goals for the upcoming season. Jordan Mosley a sophomore who played on varsity her freshman year said, “I want to go all the way, I want to win states’.” She also doesn’t want to do as many “freshmany things,” a term Paul Dinkenor, head coach, used last year.
“My goal is to score more than one goal because I only scored one last year,” said Anne Marie Cawley, sophomore.
This year has been “the best turnout in voluntary workouts in years. Everyone is working hard, spirits are great, and it’s a good sign for the preseason,” said Dinkenor, head coach.
“We have good juniors and seniors coming back and they are the core of the team, and I think [because of this] we will compete well,” said Anne Marie.
Although there is a lot of returning players and new talent “you don’t want to lose track of where you are headed. I think Dink and I are just interested in taking it one game at a time,” said Cade.
“Last year was a difficult year. We lost our senior leader in game two of the season, and she went down with a broken leg which was difficult to recover from. I feel positive we will get really good Senior leadership, but for us to come third in the conference last year was very unusual. This is a conference we have won eight of the last nine years and we want to get back to those winning ways. It wasn’t like we were bad last year; we got to the third round of the state playoffs, but we had, for us, a subpar season,” said Dinkenor.
Because of this, the girls are hungry for wins and ready to gain back their championship title.
“We may not be the best, but we definitely work the hardest and we are out there every day, rain, snow, sleet, anything,” said Rachel.
“Every single season is better than the last if not for the sole purpose of these girls to learn from each other and build on those experiences. When people commit to play soccer here at Leesville as a ninth grader, they understand they are actually making a four year commitment to learn and grow from people like Dink who has given so much time and so much energy building this program into such a great one,” said Cade.
Hopefully Leesville can return to their winning ways. The new talent of the freshmen, the sophomores refining and enhancing their skills, and the leadership and wisdom from the juniors and seniors will definitely help pave the path of success.
Players are waiting anxiously for tryouts on February 15th hoping to be a part of the amazing soccer program. It is an honor to say you are a part of a team that has a coach who has won an award for his talent. This year, Leesville will be back on top.