The South Lakes High girls’ soccer team opened the season with losses to tough opponents in Mount Oakton, 3-0, and Mount Vernon, 2-1. But despite the 0-2 start, third year Seahawks’ coach Joann Murphy is pleased with her team’s progress thus far.
"They’re starting to jell, definitely," said Murphy, whose South Lakes team is coming off a 5-7 record in 2007. " There is definitely potential there with the kids. We have a few younger players."
South Lakes has three seniors on its roster. A majority of the club is made up of juniors with a couple of freshmen and sophomores as well.
One of the team’s key new players this spring is sophomore midfielder/striker Kim Baldwin, a transfer student from Delaware. Baldwin scored a second half goal in the loss to the Majors.
Other newcomers to the varsity squad who are making a positive impact are freshmen Kirstie Fleger (defense/forward) and Kelly Kolb (defender).
"They have really stepped up," said Murphy, of the ninth graders.
South Lakes will be led this season by senior tri-captains Lynse Ambers, a defender who had an assist in the Mount Vernon game, Susan Carrai (defense) and Maggie Krauss (midfielder).
"I think they do a good job," said coach Murphy, of the three leaders. "They are good leaders and have a good work ethic and attitude. They have knowledge of the game."
Steady players from last year’s team who are now juniors include Noor Hachwi, Nicole Ehrhardt and Jessica Shaddy. All three are returning starters in the midfield.
The team’s goalie this season is junior Olivia Neuman.
Murphy said she hopes to see her team improve in its ability to finish off offensive rushes with goals.
"We need to finish and [improve on] long balls," said Murphy. "We need to be able to serve the ball behind the defense and finish [with scores]. We’ve got to take a shot. We’re doing much better playing possession [ball] and getting a first touch."
Murphy loves the winning attitude she sees from her team.
"I think one of the biggest strengths we have is we play as a team," she said. "We do the best that we can and we try to make adjustments along the way."
South Lakes, which played Herndon earlier this week, will open up its Liberty District schedule on Thursday night with a contest at W.T. Woodson. On April 7, South Lakes will play Langley in its district home opener.