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Higher ground in sight: Lady Tigers want to get back to D-6 finals

August 27, 2013
By John Hartsock (jhartsock@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

Hollidaysburg reached the District 6-AAA girls soccer championship game last fall, and the Lady Tigers return a promising nucleus that includes nine starters from that 12-8 team.

Dave Soellner begins his sixth season as the Lady Tigers' coach with plenty of experienced players who are used to playing together.

Soellner thinks that the Lady Tigers, led by senior goaltender Payton Civils, have a chance to compete successfully in every game on this year's schedule.

Article Photos

Mirror file photo by J.D. Cavrich
Huntingdon senior midfielder Sam Mansberger, a Mirror 2012 first-team all-star, returns to lead the experienced Lady Bearcats.

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic, with talented sophomore forward Alyssa McGhee sparking the offense, hope to return to the District 6-A playoffs this year. McGhee scored 59 goals and added 17 assists as BG posted an 11-9 record last fall after winning just two games the year before.

McGhee's father, Harry, begins his third season as BG's coach this year with high hopes for the team's continued improvement.

Anthony Lang begins his first season as Altoona's coach with the benefit of 10 starters returning from last season's squad. Lang is confident that the veteran group will give this year's team a good foundation around which to build.

Tyrone also has a new coach in Bruce Makin, and the Lady Eagles - whose soccer teams are formed in a jointure with Bellwood-Antis High School - are hopeful of being contenders for a Mountain League championship after winning 12 of their 18 games a year ago.

Bedford has 16 returning players from last season's 14-5-1 team that reached the District 5-6 Class AA championship game, including seven starters - giving fourth-year coach Barrett Schrock reason for optimism.

A closer look at the area teams:

Altoona

Coach: Anthony Lang, first season.

League: Independent.

Last year's record: 6-12.

Returning starters: Seniors-Selena Cardoza, Morgan Chathams, Sara Kelley, Alexis Mirenda. Juniors-Michaela Bryan, Brooklyn Haugh, Karlee Fink, Molly Malone. Sophomores-Kierra Irwin, Julie Reighard.

Other returnees: Seniors-Joshlin Bracken, Marissa Wagner. Juniors-Taylor Campbell, Andrea Ketchem, Brittany Rovatsos.

Newcomers: Juniors-Mary-Catherine Morning. Sophomores-Elizabeth Bender, Isabela Koch. Freshmen-Eva Aveni, Alicia Carper, Paris Haugh, Mykenah Lynn-Massar, Megan Vigne.

Strengths: "Great leadership and experienced players with many returning starters in many positions. We have support off the bench at all positions.''

Concerns: "Lingering injuries and a young roster.''

Overall outlook: "We look to tap into our experience and energy in order to play aggressive soccer and fight toward a district title.''

Assistant coach: Michele Holton.

Junior high coaches: Derek Winterburn, Dottie Helsel.

Bedford

Coach: Barrett Schrock, fourth season.

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.

Last year's record: 14-5-1.

Career record: 44-30-3.

Returning starters: Seniors-Autumn Beland, defense. Juniors-Paige Diehl, midfield; Taylor Easter, target; Alayna Hammond, midfield; Kelsey Koontz, left wing; Devon Layton, defense; Megan Ooghe, right wing.

Other returnees: Seniors-Monica Littlefield; Kellie Pyle; Juniors-Katie Fleener; Kate Foor; Jessica Evans; Jessica Hershberger. Sophomores-Kayla Dawson; Jordan Eisamann; Alyssa Turkovich.

Newcomers: Juniors-Jackie Tew. Freshmen-Amelia Beland, Makayla Compton; Erin Duffus; Shannon Easter, Lydia Grimes, Emily Malinowski; Lauren Ooghe; Katie Querry.

Strengths: "We have a good technical base, and the girls have worked really hard to implement the 4-3-3 system that we've adopted over the past two seasons. We have the potential to have a strong year in terms of ball possession, which will hopefully translate into overall success.''

Concerns: "We lost the core of last year's team and the vocal on-field leader. With the graduation of five seniors and three team captains we have a void in leadership that must be filled by this year's squad.''

Overall outlook: "With the development of our individual technical skills, I'm looking for us to get smarter tactically and to start to play better soccer by pushing more players forward to get numbers around the ball. If we can combine our technical ability with a stronger tactical awareness, I think we could have a very strong team again this year.''

Assistant coaches: Jarrod Easter, Paul Kendall, Joe Krupa.

Bishop Guilfoyle

Coach: Harry McGhee, third season.

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.

Last year's record: 11-9 overall, 8-5 in the conference.

Returning starters: Seniors-Nicki Carrieri, midfielder; Katelyn Nosek, defense; Gabby Smith, goalkeeper. Juniors-Ashland Drass, midfielder; Delaney Hallinan, midfielder; Jessica Rudolph, defense; Maria Ruggery, midfielder. Sophomores-Alyssa McGhee, forward.

Other returnees: Seniors-Caitlin Berkheimer, midfielder. Juniors-Amanda Irwin, defense. Sophomores-Caitlyn Harrison, forward; Mikayla Mignogna, forward/midfielder; Carly Rickens, defense.

Newcomers: Sophomores-Aalea Moore, midfielder. Freshmen-Jordan DeLeo, forward; Natalie Khoury defender; Alana Hallinan, midfielder; Kierra Miller, defense; Delaney Myrick, forward/midfielder; Maggie Nosek, midfielder; Madison Ruston, defender; Devyn Yingling, goalkeeper.

Strengths: "Knowledge of the game and a strong technical skill set.''

Concerns: "Overall, we're a young team. We must consistently play 80 minutes of possession soccer.''

Overall outlook: "We should have good leadership from our returning core of players. Overall, the knowledge and playing experience the team will have should enable us to develop as a possession-oriented team and improve as the season goes on.''

Assistant coaches: Erin Allison, Michael Drass, Faber Moyer.

Bishop Carroll

Coach: Chris Rozinsky, first season.

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.

Last year's record: 5-13 overall, 3-13 conference.

Returning starters: Seniors-Kateyln Clark, goaltender/defender; Mary Holtz, defender/goaltender. Juniors-Carrie D'Andrea, forward; Kelly Deskevich, midfielder; Alexander Dvorchak, defender; Madilyn Serenko, midfielder; Paisley Zatek, forward; Jaime Witham, midfielder/goaltender.

Other returnees: Juniors-Kara Pyo, midfielder; Kim Sheridan, midfielder. Sophomores-Taylor Clark, defender; Lea Sammarco, forward; Taylor Sherry, forward.

Newcomers: Seniors-Paige Billetdeaux, defender. Juniors-Alyssa Johnstone, Lauryn Maykovich, midfielder. Sophomores-Lexi Billetdeaux, forward; Rebecca Kwisnek; Dora Maykovich, forward; Jordan Wenturine, defender. Freshmen-Annie Chobany, Lydia Noel, Maria Schall.

Strengths: "We have a strong foundation of returning starters, an ability to score from multiple players/positions, more depth at all positions, and overall team unity.

Concerns: "Inconsistency from game-to-game last season. We must establish continuity in order to improve our standings.''

Overall outlook: "Very positive. We should be much more competitive in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference. I'm hoping to improve to at least a .500 season.''

Assistant coaches: Aaron Kirsch.

Cambria Heights

Coach: Andrea Wharton, fourth season.

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.

Last year's record: 8-10.

Returning starters: Seniors-Kara Cordell; Makayla Price. Juniors-Ashley Morchesky. Sophomores-Taylor Forsythe.

Other returnees: Juniors-Bethany Gray, Alyssa Raho. Sophomores-Megan Dillon, Agnes Hoover, Cortney Hoover, Cassidy Hunt, Sarah Patrick, MacKenzie Sherry.

Newcomers: Sophomores-Ali Anna. Freshmen-Emily Bender, Lauren Gill, Ashley Koegler.

Strengths: "We have talented returning players who are eager to start the season.''

Concerns: "We lost the majority of last year's starters to graduation, so we are a developing team.''

Overall outlook: "We have several talented returning players who are very positive and excited about this season. With a small roster, we are looking for the players to be versatile in the positions they are able to play. As a coach, I am excited to see these players excel in the different positions to which they are moved.''

Assistant coaches: Erin Hoover.

Central Cambria

Coach: Lori Grata, first season.

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.

Last year's record: 6-9.

Returning starters: Seniors-Abby Davidson, defense; Ashley Evans, defense; Ashley Hildebrand, defense; Klein Kimball, midfielder; Bri Wasser, offense. Juniors-Jill Bracken, offense; Rachel Pinkowski, midfielder; Hannah McGlynn, goalkeeper.

Other returnees: Seniors-Kaysee Rorer, midfield. Juniors-Taylor Albertelli, defense; Krista Berzonsky, defense; Kassy Brown, midfielder; Emily Gaston, defense; Erica Kozorosky, defense; Jessica Shaffer, defense; Ashley Shaheen, offense; Sam Thomas, midfielder.

Newcomers: Seniors-Hanna Schofield, midfielder; Sam Waterhouse, midfielder. Sophomores-Erin Conrad, goaltender; Tori Flick, offense; Michelle Hildebrand, offense; Courtney Keiper, defense; Sadie Lightner, defense; Harper Long, defense; Maria Minor, midfielder; Lindsey Monito, midfielder; Kendra Sherry, defense. Freshmen-Sydney Croft, midfielder; Kierra McBreen, defense; Kaitlyn Long, midfielder; Katlyn Novitski, offense; Megan Orange, defense; Jess Remillard, defense; Kelli Russell, defense; Katelyn Scanlan, defense; Hannah Schofield, defense; Lauren Stevens, offense.

Strengths: "I am looking forward to a great season. We have a very large team, and I am able to move girls around where they are needed. We will be playing an aggressive game this year."

Concerns: "I have a lot of new players. We are working hard to build their skills up fast. The team has to adjust to me as their new coach, but I think that the team has been working well together."

Overall outlook: "The overall outlook for the team is great. I really have a great group of girls. I started a mentor program between the senior players and the new players, so that everybody is helping one another learn skills and feel like they're a part of the team.''

Assistant coaches: Tim Miller.

Central

Coach: Brian Campbell, first season.

League: Mountain League.

Last year's record: 0-14 overall, 0-10 league.

Returning starters: Madeline Bartek, Jenna Brown, Marissa Brumbaugh, Allison Decker, Morgan Ebersole, Kyra Larson, Mackenzie Manherz, Hannah Moore, Katherine Orzeck, Meghan Replogle, Brianna Shriver, Brooklyn Welsh, Kaitlyn Zimmerman.

Newcomers: Madison Flaugh, Alyssa Laird, Jessica Laird.

Strengths: "Experience and drive. We return a lot of girls from last year's team who are driven to get the program in the right direction.''

Concerns: "We must remain positive. We are going to hit some bumps in the road, but we need to push through them and remain positive about the job that we are doing.''

Overall outlook: "I think we have a great group of girls with positive attitudes who want to get better.''

Assistant coaches: None.

Junior high coaches: Emily Lonero.

Chestnut Ridge

Coach: Kathy Dull, second season.

League: Sideling Hill League.

Last year's record: 10-6-2.

Career record: 10-6-2.

Returning starters: Seniors-MacKenzie Feather. Juniors-Molly Dull, Mylee Dull, Emily Sprigg, Katie Weaver. Sophomores-Brooke Corle.

Other returnees: Seniors-K.C. Hockenberry, Kirsten Reed, Alicia Sharer. Juniors-Justice Fleck, Allison Miller. Sophomores-McKenzie Lohr.

Newcomers: Juniors-Bailee Brown. Sophomores-Savanna Hockenberry, Carley Lipinski. Freshmen-Maria Claycomb, Samantha Felix, Shana Guenther, Skylee Palicka, Katelynn Sims.

Strengths: "Our returning lettermen.''

Concerns: "A few early injuries.''

Overall outlook: "[We hope] to improve our playing level.''

Assistant coaches: Dawnette Corle, Daelene Crouse.

Everett

Coach: Rom Kalinauskas, 33rd season.

Last year's record: 6-11.

Returning starters: Seniors-Josie Clark, goaltender; Kim Clark, midfield; Serena Hess, midfield; Olivia Hillenbrand, attack; Shiane Pittman, attack. Juniors-Makalya Foor, midfield; Aarika Price, midfield. Sophomores-Jessica Appel, defense; Kayla Krimmel, defense; Leah Oakley, attack.

Other team members: Seniors-Rachel Foor, Meghan Hammond. Juniors-Shanna Peterson, Madysen Smyers. Sophomores-Sarah Finnegan, Tessa Hershberger, Selena Munoz. Freshmen-Erica Burkholder, Abigail Johnson, Cailyn Mearkle, Krysten Mills, Maria Shaw.

Strengths: "We have 10 returning starters on our roster. Our experience will be a plus this season.''

Concerns: "There are a multitude of items that we have been addressing in the preseason - conditioning, ball control, set plays, and working together as a team.''

Overall outlook: "Our goals for the season are to see improvement in each game, and to continue into the playoffs.''

Assistant coaches: Nora Kalinauskas, Lisa Miller.

Great Commission

Coach: Gayle Johnson, 10th season.

League: Allegheny Christian Athletic Association.

Last year's record: 5-15.

Returning starters: Seniors-Kiersten Cover, defender; Kansas Klock, striker; Lydia Pepper, midfielder. Juniors-Lexi Beagan, midfielder; Sara Clark, goalkeeper; Kyrstin Johnson, striker. Sophomores-Megan Stuart, midfielder.

Other returnees: Juniors-Hannah Kennedy, midfielder; Adrienne Krater, defender; Lyndsey Longstreth, defender; Emily Noel, midfielder; Alyssa Wertman, defender. Sophomores-Casea Detwiler, midfielder. Freshmen-Abigail Mills, midfielder; Mara Pepper, defender. Eighth graders-Laura Longstreth, striker.

Strengths: "We have a great core group of girls coming back.''

Concerns: "We graduated six seniors last year.''

Overall outlook: "I think we will do well. The girls really work hard, and they love the game.''

Assistant coaches: Whitney Johnson, Tyler Pepper.

Hollidaysburg

Coaches: Dave Soellner, sixth season.

League: None.

Last year's record: 12-8.

Career record: 63-31-1.

Returning starters: Seniors-Madison Aungst, forward; Madison Bernard, defense; Payton Civils, goaltender; Anne Mielnik, midfielder. Juniors-Emily Brown, midfielder; Laura Horne, defense; Farrah Younes, defense. Sophomores-Hannah Madara, midfielder; Tori Surma, defense.

Other returnees: Seniors-Ariara Kriebel, forward; Alice Ritchey, forward; McKenzie Roberts, defense. Juniors-Caroline Ellis, midfielder; Abbey Nebelski, forward. Sophomores-Tia Beisinger, defense; Erica Lindsey, midfielder; Lauren Singer, defense; Caitlan Smith, midfielder.

Newcomers: Sophomores-Katie Dinges, goalkeeper; Sam Parnell, defense. Freshmen-Casey Martin, midfielder.

Strengths: "We have a lot of girls who have experience playing soccer together.''

Concerns: "Staying healthy.''

Overall outlook: "Our goal is to compete to win every game, and to improve every day.''

Assistant coaches: Rick Madara, Crystal Stephens, Lauren Azeles.

Junior high coach: Laura Wray.

Huntingdon

Coach: Anita Young, second season.

League: Mountain League.

Last year's record: 10-8.

Returning starters: Seniors-Mary Kurtz, defender; Ashley Laird, goalkeeper; Sam Mansberger, midfielder; Shannon McKenzie, defender; Kyra Shea, midfielder; Natanya Shingler, forward. Juniors- Rachel Fleming, forward; Alyssa Handy, forward.

Other returnees: Seniors-Shanna Henney, midfielder; Wendy Ulrich, midfielder. Juniors-Olivia Kruse, midfielder; Maddie McCool, midfielder; Madeline Suba, midfielder. Sophomores-Logan Felton, midfielder; Arial Monica, defender; Kate Thurston-Griswold, midfielder.

Newcomers: Seniors-Brianna Wolfe, forward. Sophomores-Erin Shelley, midfielder. Freshmen-Sammy Roth, midfielder; Kim Stratton, midfielder.

Strengths: "We lost only two starters last year, so we have most of the team back, and good team chemistry. We have a very solid goalkeeper. Our players are more in shape this year, due to playing all year around, and our players have great speed.''

Concerns: "We have many versatile players, so it may take some time to find the right fit for players at positions, and this may vary game-by-game, too. We need to work together collectively as a team.''

Overall outlook: "We are looking to really compete in the Mountain League. We tied for second last year, and will look to perform better. We really got a taste of how competitive District 6 is during the playoffs, so we have set some goals, and we will be working really hard to achieve them. We have a solid group of players coming back with a lot of leadership potential, on and off the field. We have a few young players who are competing for starting positions and looking for a chance to make their mark. This will make training very competitive, and overall, make us better as a team.''

Assistant coaches: Linzee Ruby.

Moshannon Valley

Coach: Matt Kephart, first season.

League: Inter-County Conference.

Last year's record: 2-10 overall and in the league.

Returning starters: Seniors-Brita Campbell; Sarah Dugan; McKenzie Kitko; Katherine Miller; Abby Williams. Juniors-Wynter Adams; Morgan Capobianco; Kaleigh Domonick; Julie Stillman; Alexandria Vadeboncoeur.

Newcomers: Sophomores-Katelyn Barnett; Jordyn Kitko; Brittany Oliver. Freshmen-Autumn Adams; Emily Harsumchuck.

Strengths: "Girls returning from last year's team, along with a high percentage playing in indoor and spring leagues. We have a core group of skilled players.''

Overall outlook: "I am looking forward to taking advantage of the experience and skill of the players to bring some wins to the Moshannon Valley soccer program.''

Assistant coaches: Frank Stillman (varsity); Dan Smeal (junior high).

Northern Bedford

Coach: Bridget Beach Bechtel, second season.

League: Sideling Hill League, Inter-County Conference.

Last year's record: 4-14.

Returning starters: Seniors-Liyah Freight, Mikayla Gates, Lauren Morris. Juniors-Jennifer Bertoldi, Danielle Dodson, Savannah Heaton. Sophomores-Shelby Crooks, Mackenzie Eshelman, Lindsay Over.

Newcomers: Juniors-Hannah Drenning, Ashlee Gojeski, Connor Reasy. Sophomores-Sydney Clapper. Freshmen-Jostin Ebersole, Whitley Furry, Samantha Kelly, Peyton Leidy, Shawna Williams.

Strengths: "We have players who have a desire to score goals.''

Concerns: "Lack of on-field experience, and getting and maintaining possession of the ball.''

Overall outlook: "We are looking stronger in several areas, and we hope to win 50 percent of our games. We would love to make it to the playoffs this fall.''

Assistant coaches: Jenn Ebersole.

Penn Cambria

Coach: Jessica Burlingame, second season.

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.

Last year's record: 2-16.

Returning starters: Seniors-Katie Krug, midfield; Debbie Slovikosky, midfielder. Juniors-Kasey Creehan, defense; Sophia Funari, midfielder/defense; Katie Little, goalkeeper.

Other returnees: Seniors-Shadyn Swope, forward. Sophomores-Stephanie Seymore, forward.

Newcomers: Seniors-Casey Black, Kiana Fogel. Juniors-Kaci Paul, Sara Westin. Sophomores-Abby Harvey, Nicole Kemerer, Melinda Novak, Kaeli Smith, Gabby Stoehr. Freshmen-Taylor Brown, Emily Diehl, Jordan Novak, Anna Razo, Miya Trice.

Strengths: "We have an excellent team dynamic with great leadership.''

Concerns: "Staying healthy and taking advantage of scoring opportunities.''

Overall outlook: "The team has strong leaders and a great attitude. We are looking forward to being competitive in the Laurel Highlands Conference.''

Assistant coaches: Pamela Kenawell.

Philipsburg-Osceola

Coach: Kristina McKenna, second season.

League: Mountain League.

Last year's record: 5-12-1 overall, 4-7-1 league.

Returning starters: Seniors-Meili Belko, midfielder; Sarah Belinda, defense/goalie; Erica Coval, defense/midfielder; Becky Groff, midfielder; Carley Hahn, goalie/midfielder; Jordyn Powell, midfielder/striker; Michala Whitehead, defense; Sarah Yarger, midfielder/defense; Jacki Zawisa, striker. Sophomores-Cheyenne Cowfer, striker/defense.

Other returnees: Seniors-Cassandra Lewis, midfielder/defense; Drew Peters, midfielder. Juniors-Kaelie Fox, midfielder. Sophomores-Makayla Jury, defense; Makenzie Myers, defense/goaltender; Abigail Slogosky, striker/midfielder.

Newcomers: Freshmen-Maggie Peck, midfielder/striker; Lydia Shively, midfielder/striker.

Strengths: "We have an excellent group of strong senior athletes this season.''

Concerns: "None at this time.''

Overall outlook: "We are excited to begin the upcoming season. We have a great group of student-athletes and they've worked hard through our preseason - we're going to be a competitive team this year.''

Assistant coaches: Leslie Long, Jeff Powell.

Tussey Mountain

Coach: Rena Drenning, second season.

Last year's record: 11-7.

Returning starters: Seniors-Sam Coffman, forward; Paige Reed, forward; Paige Thomas, forward. Juniors-Kylie Bussard, forward; Hannah Dickson, forward; Tanesha Hinkel, goalkeeper; Breana Kendrick, defense; Lora Meck, forward; Courtney Rupert, forward; Alex Watkins, defense.

Newcomers: Sophomores-Mayze Diehl, forward; Morgan Musselman, forward. Freshmen-Sara Coffman, defense; McKenna Curfman, goalkeeper; Kaylee Levelle, forward; Chloe Soliday, defense.

Strengths: "We have many returning lettermen with shooting experiences.''

Concerns: "We graduated most of our defense from last year. We have two returning defensive lettermen.''

Overall outlook: "We have several players who have the ability to produce goals, and we are going to rely on them this season.''

Assistant coaches: Wendy Kendell, Enzo Marin.

Tyrone

Coach: Bruce Makin, first season.

League: Mountain League.

Last year's record: 12-6 overall, 8-5 in the Mountain League.

Returning starters: Senior-Lucy Raftery, defender. Juniors-Hope Wilson, midfield; Carrie Vance, forward. Sophomores-Regan Plowman, midfield; Erika Voyzey, defense.

Strengths: "Our program had its most successful season in the 2012 campaign. The girls have worked very hard in the preseason this year, and we hope to be competitive with, and challenge, our opponents.''

Concerns: "Having lost seven seniors to graduation, the team is looking to rebuild in 2013.''

Overall outlook: "We will be a young team, but we want to challenge for the Mountain League championship. That's our goal for the 2013 season.''

Assistant coaches: Tiffany Bradford.

 
 

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