BRATTLEBORO -- With a coach named Luke, a player with the surname Hazard and a striker that Rosco P. Coltrain would have trouble keeping up with, the Leland & Gray girls soccer team is looking to make a General Lee type of jump to the top of the division.
The Rebels graduated five seniors from a team that went 3-11-0 last season. They will open up at Twin Valley on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
"We hope to change that record," said first-year coach Lucas Bates, who was pleased with his team’s recent scrimmages.
Playing in the Bellows Falls preseason tournament, the Rebels went 0-2-3 in their five 15-minute games. One of those ties came against Brattleboro.
Among the core players returning for the Townshend team are stopper Ashley Goddard, midfielders Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom and Emily Stockwell, and striker Chelby Nystrom. The coach is also looking for big things from newcomers Sarah Sheppard and Emily Thibault.
Bates noted that Goddard will be a steadying force on defense, the two midfielders mentioned are young and very talented, and that Nystrom’s motor never stops. He said that Sheppard and Thibault will add to the chemistry.
"As for my philosophy, I am going to take the abilities that we have as a team and work within that boundary instead of forcing a style of play on the team," stated Bates. "The other area that I have stressed with the team this year is our fitness. We will not lose games because we
Leland & Gray’s home opener will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 11, versus Arlington, at 4:30 p.m.
Roster: Coach -- Lucas Bates. Players -- Addie Mahdavi, Ashley Goddard, Brittany Bills, Chelby Nystrom, Elizabeth Gallup, Elizabeth Symanski, Emily Stockwell, Emily Thibault, Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom, Haley Buffum, Jacqueline Hazard, Kathleen McAllister, Kelsey Bruder, Lucy Thorpe, Renee Reeves, Sally Densmore, Sarah Sheppard, Stevie Roberts, Zoe Soule.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.