By LOGAN DARNELL
Coal Valley News
SETH - The Lady Tide soccer team experienced a record-setting 2018 season, with growth coming from six new roster players last year. In 2019, the team has grown yet again, totaling 17 girls for the largest squad Sherman has seen thus far.
Coach Angie Lilly says the team is making an effort to garner freshman interest, as six seniors are set to play their final seasons in the maroon and gold. The graduating class includes four-year seniors expected to be leaders in the team.
Laura Halstead, the team's goalkeeper, is one such senior. Alongside her is leading striker Haley Ceravolo. Abigail Monhollen and Alexis Green provide solid defense.
Sophomore Brooke O'Meara made her mark as a quality defender in 2018, and is expected to grow this year. Fellow sophomore defender and midfielder Ryleigh Trail's toughness aids in the team's ability to keep control of the game. "They're all doing really good and catching on," Coach Lilly says, "so we're looking forward to a good year."
The team plays 16 matches, the most Coach Lilly has ever scheduled, showing her commitment to growth in the team. Lilly anticipates improvement in these games, notably in terms of the team's clearing and passing game. She compliments the team's already-noticeable development in passing when it comes to the final third of the field.
"They're getting the combinations between three and four passes in a row. They're linking them together and getting up the field," she said.
Making connections in the transition from defense to offense will be extremely important.
Lilly is excited about the prospects of the Lady Tide growing even more in 2020 and beyond, even possibly having enough girls to hold junior varsity matches. The work the team does today brings it closer to these milestones.
"We hope to keep it going and keep it rolling," Lilly says.
The girls' work to get potential athletes interested off the field is as important as what they do on it. With high hopes for how Sherman can further build its presence in soccer, the team looks forward to the challenges awaiting them. Coach Lilly encourages kids and families alike to cheer on the Lady Tide.
"Come out and support your girls. It's going to be a fun season."
Sherman hosts Wyoming East at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 29.