TOWNSHEND >> The Leland & Gray varsity girls soccer team, which returns nine seniors, will open up at Mount Saint Joseph of Rutland today at 11 a.m.
"Only 24 girls came out this season, but it is a strong group of returning players," said Rebels coach Lucas Bates, whose team went 5-8-1 last year. "Having the nine seniors has been a blessing — the knowledge that they have gathered over their high school careers lets us work on the more tactical parts of the game."
Among the returnees is goalie Anna Jutras, who filled in for the injured Jordan Gouger in 2015.
"She helped us at about the midway point last year, once we knew that Jordan Gouger was gone for the season. She is a sophomore and has grown into the position over the summer," added Bates.
The team's nine seniors are Ashley Bates, Rachel Borgesen, Emma Bourne, Mackenzie Boyle, Emma Densmore, Jessica Madore, Jessie Stockwell, Caroline Tietz and Emma Urbaska.
"As far as captains for the team, we will be rotating the seniors three at a time for each game. They all have leadership qualities and are all examples of sportsmanship," coach Bates said.
Ashley Bates, who scored a hat trick in her team's regular season finale a year ago, was named to the 2015 Division 3 All State girls soccer team. Bates and teammate Mackenzie Boyle were both named Marble Valley League All Stars.
The Leland & Gray players have prepared for the season by attending a camp over the summer at Keene State College, participating in pick up games, and through practices and scrimmages.
Leland & Gray varsity girls soccer roster: Coach — Lucas Bates. Players — Anna Jutras, Ashley Bates, Rachel Borgesen, Emma Bourne, Mackenzie Boyle, Emma Densmore, Jessica Madore, Jessie Stockwell, Caroline Tietz, Emma Urbaska, Arin Bates, Kelsi Bostrom, Erin Cutts, Sierra Fillion, Mariah Hazard, Bay Holmes, Hannah Petronic.
Area Sports Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 3
Bellows Falls girls soccer at Windsor, 11 a.m.
Leland & Gray girls soccer at MSJ, 11 a.m.