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Lady Falcons working hard

| Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2004

Over the past few years, the Connellsville girls soccer team has slowly climbed the ladder or respectability in the WPIAL. This year, new head coach Jeff Puskar is hoping that the Lady Falcons can step up yet another rung or two.

"We've been together for a while and I'm pleased with the dedication of the girls," Puskar said. "We have a lot to learn as far as soccer knowledge, but I think we'll improve over last year. We'll get contributions from all four classes."

Puskar is taking over for 2003 head coach Dave Tangretti. Last year's squad finished with a 6-13 record. Puskar is looking to make a big jump in terms of improving upon that mark.

"We're shooting for over .500," Puskar said.

The Lady Falcons have a roster made up of 20 players. The captains for this year's team are seniors Rachel Blasko and Kelly Juengel and junior Lindsay O'Donnell.

O'Donnell, Blasko, junior Amanda House and sophomore Liz Bell will be counted on to provide some offense.

"We're looking for goal scoring contributions from them," Puskar stated.

Meanwhile, expect freshmen Alexis Dolde, Paige Puskar, Katrina Kelly and Jeanine Hardy to handle some of the chores at midfield.

Kelly will also see time in the net along with Juengel.

Other players that will be asked to make contributions throughout the season include seniors Amanda Masterbray and Samantha Shal, juniors Sara Dunkard and Leeann Nicholson, sophomores Kayla Barko, Samantha Provance and Veronica Rumbaugh and freshmen Jessica Masterbray, Justine Colland, Alaina Breakiron and Emily Kozel.

Puskar will be assisted on the sidelines by Joel Barko.

Connellsville will be battling in Section 6-AAA. Their section rivals are Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Uniontown and Yough.

Puskar isn't sure what to expect from some of his section opponents, but he knows that hard work is the only way that the Lady Falcons will accomplish their goals in 2004.

"We want to keep our goals-against down and control the midfield," Puskar said. "We want to pass the ball and get more shots on net. If we keep working hard, I see a lot of good things happening this year."

Connellsville will open the season on Friday with an exhibition game at Perry.

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