Lebanon Catholic girls soccer preview
Coach: Omar Sandoval, first season
Last year's record: 6-12
Key returners: Leah Pastal, Sr., D; Neesha Pierre, Jr., MF.
Promising newcomers: Samantha Hatzfield, Fr., D.
Outlook: He's betting on the Beavers' defense serving as their greatest team strength, but there is another, securer guarantee new coach Omar Sandoval will make about his club: Lebanon Catholic is going to be aggressive.
"So far we've been working on our 4-3-3, but depending on our opponent on we might keep three behind and push up," said Sandoval, last year's JV coach. "That's what I want to show the girls. I'm trying to get to them that you have to score to win, to take risks."
Unsatisfied with making a small dent in section play, the Beavers are now bent on a rise in the standings via an attacking mindset and more cohesive play. Junior Neesha Pierre, a Section Three second-team all-star, will patrol the midfield with recent Lebanon transfer Jasmine Turner. Pierre netted a hat trick in one of Lebanon Catholic's two section victories from 2015, a four-goal triumph over Northern Lebanon, and finished with 17 goals.
While the Beavers are no longer co-oping with New Covenant, their numbers have remained steady. Though expectations within the program are certainly on the move.
"People are going to see a different team," Sandoval said. "We're going to be taking risks, playing different formations and hopefully, by the way we've looked so far, we'll be a team that works together just as a team is supposed to."