Weekly Feature



2018-08-22 / Sports

O’Hara girls soccer team ready to defend title

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter

The Cardinal O’Hara girls soccer team hit the pitch for practice last week as the defending Monsignor Martin B champions. The Lady Hawks are focused and ready to defend their title heading into the regular season.

“The team is more motivated this season to continue to succeed,” Cardinal O’Hara coach Stephanie Allaire said. “They understand we have to work harder during practice and make every game situation count.”

The team will be led by a quartet of captains in seniors Angel Parker and Jaydah Robinson and juniors Morgan Applegate and Alyssa Harrington. Applegate was the team’s second-highest scorer last season with 14 goals and 10 assists.

“She’s a tiny player, but she will hustle to every ball, beat her defenders and place the ball in the back of the net,” Allaire said.

Alyssa Harrington and Meghan McMurray are the team’s two top defenders. The girls are aggressive and succeed in communicating to their teammates. Jillian Phillips is a key player at center midfield.

“Midfield is one of the toughest positions, and she plays center mid very well,” Allaire said. “She’s able to control the balls, move the ball up the field and set her teammates up to be successful.”

The team’s strength is its chemistry. There are plenty of returning players who are used to playing with each other, and all have the same goal.

“The girls have a strong relationships with each other on and off the field, and I feel that shows when they play together,” Allaire said. “Everyone has the same goals.”

The team is determined to have another successful season. They’re aiming for a division title and another appearance in the championship. But they know they have to prove themselves all over again.

“In order to get there, we have to stay focused throughout the season and take it one game at a time,” Allaire said. “Even though we may have beaten a team the previous year does not mean we will get the same results. We have to play as if it’s our first time competing against our opponents.”

The team will have some tough competition in league play, taking on consistently solid foes in Christian Central Academy and Buffalo Seminary. Christian Central played them tough last year, and Buffalo Seminary was the league runner-up.

“We always have close games against Christen Central Academy,” Allaire said. “Our first match against each other ended in a tie, and we had to fight hard in overtime to get the win. We also have good competition against Buffalo Seminary as well. Both CCA and Buff Sem have talented athletes on their teams; that challenges us to work hard and make smart decisions.”

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