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Eden Christian girls soccer begins 1st WPIAL season

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In its first year in the WPIAL, the Eden Christian girls soccer team has a modest goal.

“We want to be competitive in each game,” coach Gary Laird said.

The Warriors open Section 3-A play Sept. 4 at Steel Valley. Their first section home game will be Sept. 9 against Carlynton.

The Warriors feature a mixture of experienced and inexperienced players, with some girls having played for middle school and travel teams and others not having played for a long time or at all.

Co-captains Lydia Manges and Molly Koegler are the only seniors.

The team includes two juniors (Bayley Fields and Rachel Grosselin) and five sophomores (Leah Bovard, Brittany Cejer, Sophia Terry, Angie Ferrigno and Jenny Bodine).

Freshmen Abbie Manges, Makenzie King, Emily Schmelzer, Siena Bott, Taylor Lamparter and Emily Merrick also are on the team.

A starting lineup has not been determined.

“We don't really have any positions pegged down,” Laird said.

Laird is impressed by team members.

“They're caring and enjoyable to be around,” Laird said. “A lot of girls are just getting to know each other.”

“We expect some growing pains,” said Lydia Manges, 17.

Manges and Koegler, 17, were part of a drive to start the team.

“Lydia and I were pushing hard to have a team for our senior year,” Koegler said.

The Eden Christian boys team is in its third year in the WPIAL.

“With creative scheduling, we've figured out a way to share a field,” said Laird, who also serves as school chaplain.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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