The 2019 girls' soccer season has gotten off to a good start for Hopkins County Central as the team registered a 3-2 win over Lyon County in their opening match.
The Lady Storm went 11-4-1 a year ago before loosing to Caldwell County 4-2 in the first round of the 7th District Tournament. Four seniors graduated from the 2018 team.
"We are going to be a very young team compared to previous seasons," head coach Shawn Oakley said. "I graduated some girls who were an integral part of the program the last few years. We've got some pieces that we've got to fill in, but we took a big step last night against Lyon County."
Oakley's team only has three seniors including Allie Wagoner, who is coming back from an ACL injury suffered in the spring, and returning starter Maci Strader.
Central will be relying on younger players including some new faces on the team.
"We've got Kire Peyton as our goalkeeper. She recently transferred from Dawson Springs," Oakley said. "Katelyn Cavanaugh, a junior, has been in the top 20 in the state in scoring, so she's our main threat offensively. Keri Reynolds is another junior who plays midfield for us. She's becoming more of a threat, and I've got two freshmen in Priya Holmes and Lily Melton."
"We've got a lot of young girls on the team this year," said Strader. "We have a few older girls, but they're not that experienced. But we're doing good so far."
"Keri and I try to help the younger players," Cavanaugh said. "We give them direction, and I try to give them tips because they're not very experienced."
Oakley said the Lady Storm may be a bit ahead of the curve offensively, but could struggle a little on the other side of the ball.
"Offensively we're looking pretty solid," Oakley said. "Defense is where we'll need to fill some holes left by the veterans who graduated."
"We have a lot of work to do defensively," Cavanaugh said. "They don't really know the positioning yet. They just need more experience and more practice."
The Lady Storm will be back on the road tonight to take on Fort Campbell. The team's home opener will be Monday against St. Mary's. Both varsity matches kickoff at 7 p.m.