CV Christian, Shalom return solid cores
Coach: Paul Lundy, third year, 6-15-1.
Last year: 4-8-1 (2-7-1 Mason-Dixon Christian Conference).
Returning starters: Bri Miley (sr., mid, 3 goals, 2 assists); Imani Harper (sr., def, 1, 2); Tori Stouffer (sr., for, 3, 3); Sophie Bland (jr., sweeper, 1 goal); Emily Bard (so., mid, 6 goals); Kaitlin Provard (so., wing, 1, 3); Hunter Timmons (so., stopper); Isabel Beard (so., utility, 3, 2).
Other top players: Kyleigh Teal (fr., mid, 3 goals); Jalen Moats (fr., for/def, 1 goal); Sophia Robinson (so., goalkeeper); Taylor Heck (so., wing); Sonja Loewe (sr., mid).
Outlook: Lundy said, "It's nice that we have some experience. We're deeper and more experienced than we have been lately. Now what we have to do it translate that experience and talent into wins."
Notes: The Blazers have 17 girls on the roster, which is more than normal ... Lundy said 13 of those 17 players have some varsity experience, including Teal and Moats, who played some as eighth-graders last year ... Beard is a utility player who could end up playing all 11 positions this season.
Season opener: Thursday, at home Calvary Christian, 4:30.
Shalom Christian Flames
Coach: Bill Poe, second year.
Last year: 15-2 (11-1 Mason-Dixon Christian Conference); lost in MDCC championship, 4-1 to Shenandoah Valley.
Returning starters: Bethany Blank (sr., mid, 2 goals, 4 assists); Lindsey Stenger (sr., def); Sadie Bland (sr., mid, 4, 1); Emily Martin (sr., def); Brooke Emge (jr., for, 29, 12); Lauren Stains (jr., center def, 1 assist); Sarah Priest (jr., for, 7, 3); Caley Eyler (jr., goalkeeper); Kylie Eby (jr., goalkeeper, 3 goals).
Other top players: Violetta Ebersole (sr., mid, 1 goal); Sariah Nauman (sr., def, 1 goal); Carolina Holmes (sr., def); Cassie Oberholtzer (so., mid, 2 goals); Maggie Keller (so., for, 2 goals).
Outlook: "We have a nice group of girls, and a lot of them are passionate about soccer," Poe said. "We lost three good players from last year's team, but we have a really nice core of good players back."
Notes: The Flames' only two losses last year were to Shenandoah Valley Christian, one in the MDCC final ... Poe believes Shenandoah Valley is again the MDCC favorite this spring, but that "a lot of teams should be better this year."
Season opener: Tuesday, at home vs. Broadfording, 4.