ShareThis Page
Sports

MP girls young, but full of soccer experience

| Friday, Sept. 10, 2004

The Mount Pleasant girls soccer team is young, but no one would call the Lady Vikings inexperienced.

"We only have one senior (Amanda Nelson) on the team this year, but we pretty much only lost two starters from last year, and our whole core group is back, so we expect to be pretty strong," head coach Kelli Belanger said.

Belanger is beginning her first season as head coach, but like her team, she has plenty of experience. Belanger served as the assistant to former head coach Jerry DeFlitch for six seasons. Now that she's at the helm, she has an assistant of her own. Former player Jessica Higgins will help Belanger with the coaching duties this year.

Belanger is already seeing positives in both attitude and skill.

"We're working very well together as a team," she said. "Overall, we're a pretty young team. Everyone got a lot of experience last year, which is good, but we're still pretty young. We've always been strong on defense, and this year, we actually have two goalkeepers, which is something we've never had."

Sophomore Lauren Fearer, who started as a freshman last year, will return to the net, where she'll be joined by freshman Nicole Capozzi.

Belanger said she expects Mount Pleasant to display its usual team speed, and she added that despite its youth, the team does have a few players who are stepping into leadership roles.

"Even though we're young, we've got a couple of good leaders that are stepping up," she said, pointing to junior captain Jill White, along with co-captains Nelson and junior Jenna Snyder. "Everyone is playing together as a team, and they've got a good, positive attitude."

Belanger said the Lady Vikings are getting more shots on goal than they have in the past, but the team is still working on cashing in on its opportunities.

"Scoring, we're struggling with a little bit," she said.

Mount Pleasant competes in Section 1-AAA with such opponents as Penn-Trafford and Norwin, two teams which consistently finish at the top of the section. Belanger said this season, the two should make another strong run at the top spots.

"Penn-Trafford graduated their whole group of starting seniors, so they're a little weaker, but they always have a good program," she said. "Norwin is actually ranked I think third in the whole WPIAL right now. They should have a very, very strong team. They should be hard for anybody to beat."

Belanger said the Lady Vikings are also concerned with Hempfield, a team which they typically battle for the final playoff spot.

"We're very worried about Hempfield this year. They've got a new coach also, and they've gotten a lot better," she said.

Mount Pleasant has already faced Penn-Trafford, losing 5-1 on the road. The team will visit Greensburg Salem today.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me