It is a season of change for the local girls' soccer teams. East Liverpool and Oak Glen are under the guidance of new head coaches, while Beaver Local is without nine seniors from last year's sectional-tile and district runner-up team.
Here is a capsule look at the teams.
East Liverpool’s Sarah Guildoo clears the ball against Steubenville Saturday at Harding Stadium. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
COACH: Sam Paletta is in his first season as head coach of the girls' team. He previously served as head coach of the boys' team.
LAST SEASON: Oak Glen finished last season at 8-11. Weir defeated Oak Glen, 5-0, in the West Virginia Class AA-A Region 1 Section 1 Final at Brooke High School.
LETTERMEN LOST: Amy Webster, Paige Smearman and Payden Eckleberry.
LETTERMEN BACK: The Golden Bears return 11 lettermen from last year's team. Of that group, five our juniors, and there are three seniors and three sophomores. The seniors are Cassandra Deremer, Megan Collins and Jennifer Mangano. The juniors are Gabi Lemley, Casey Highfield, Paige Freeman, Jenna Mason and Jessi King. The sophomores are Devon Temple, Erin Field and Christen Mangano. Collins is the top scorer on the team.
TEAM STRENGTH: "We have good senior leadership," Paletta said. "We have an experienced group of seniors and juniors. We also have a strong group of sophomores and freshmen."
TEAM CHALLENGE: "The girls are having to learn a new system / style of play," Paletta said. "They are adapting to all the new coaches."
SEASON OUTLOOK: "These young ladies have set high goals for themselves, all of which are achievable," Paletta said. "With a good balance between defense and defense, they will be an exciting team to watch."
COACH: Liz Connor is in her fourth season as head coach of the Beavers.
LAST SEASON: Beaver Local ended last season with a record of 11-8. Beaver Local defeated Indian Creek and Minerva down at St. Clairsville en route to winning an Ohio Division II Eastern District title. Edison defeated Beaver Local, 1-0, in overtime to win the district title. "We made a good run last year during the post season," Connor said. "We had tremendous leadership from last year's seniors."
LETTERMEN LOST: Jessica Fair, Sam Cook, Kenzie Weber, Kim Rotellini, Hayley Cochran, Allie Bangor, Tenelle Hoppel, Ashleigh Ault and Lexie Lynch. Fair was the leading scorer on the team.
LETTERMEN BACK: Beaver Local returns 13 lettermen from last season. Of the 13, five are juniors, and there are four are seniors and four sophomores. The returners are: Heather Swickard (senior), Brittany Mesler (senior), Melinda Richey (senior), Mercedes May (senior), Hannah Cochran (junior), Paige Prologo (junior), Maranda Kiddey (junior), Chandler Hoppel (junior), Becky Stoffer (junior), Caylee Cunningham (sophomore), Haley Tomlinson (sophomore), Betty Richey (sophomore) and Audrey Tompkins (sophomore).
TEAM STRENGTH: "This year's seniors are very passionate about the game," Connor said. "They will provide great leadership for us throughout the season on and off the field."
TEAM CHALLENGE: "The team is very young," Connor said. "We have 11 new players. We are looking to improve as we build on the season."
SEASON OUTLOOK: "We continue to play an extremely tough schedule," Connor said. "We look to use our experiences during the season to help with our post season."
COACH: Katie Smith is in her first season as head coach of the Potters. Smith graduated from East Liverpool in 2002. Tim Diddle is in his first season as an assistant coach.
LAST SEASON: The Potters finished last season with a record of 4-11-1 under the guidance of Mike McDougle. Edison blanked East Liverpool in the Ohio Division II Eastern District Sectional Semifinals at St. Clairsville.
LETTERMEN LOST: Alyssa Culp, Andrea Perry, Kaitlin Possage and Racheal White.
LETTERMEN BACK: The Potters return 10 lettermen from last season. Of the 10, six are seniors, and there are two juniors and two sophomores. The seniors are Sarah Guildoo, Nicole Talbott, Nicole Linkous, Gretchen Dietz, Kelsey Diddle and Bre Partezana. The juniors are Alex Cunningham and Chelsea Possage. The sophomores are Kyra Gill and Anna Guildoo.
TEAM STRENGTH: "Our team strength is that we work together well as a team," Smith said. "We have spent all summer together working hard and each girl knows their teammates strengths and weaknesses.
TEAM CHALLENGE: "Our team challenge is the depth of our bench," Smith said. "We only have two subs. Each girl on our team is in great enough physical shape to play a whole 80 minute game but injuries can happen when you least expect them.
TEAM OUTLOOK: "In my first year taking over the Lady Potters soccer program, I am expecting huge things," Smith said. "There is so much individual talent on our team that there is no excuse for a losing record. We have already won the same number of games that they won last year and we still have eight games left to play."