Despite the nine goals his team put up in their season-opening win over North Surry at home last week, East Wilkes Coach Matt Campbell said the strength of this season’s team lies in its defense.
“We can score,” he said, “but against everybody? Nine goals? Is that a realistic goal? Probably not?”
The Cardinals return 16 players from a team that was one game away from the state playoffs a year ago.
“We’re predominantly an upperclass team,” Campbell said. “They want to go to the state playoffs.”
Campbell said another goal is to “finish in the upper half of the conference,” adding that “1A is going to be tough competition for us. They’re looking forward to it.
“They’ll need to keep working hard and all their goals will be reachable.”
Campbell is assisted by Ralph Beshears. “He’s a lifesaver,” Campbell said. “He’s been around the game longer than I’ve been alive.
“He’s a key to our success. I don’t know anybody who loves the game as much as he does. He’s always positive with the girls. They really look up to him. They’re listening and soaking it all in.”
The Cardinals, 1-0, were at Mount Airy last night.
East Wilkes women’s soccer at a glance
Coach: Matt Campbell, 2nd year
Conference: Mountain Valley Athletic
Last Year’s Record: 6-14-1, no playoffs
Returnees: Destiny Gregory, D, Sr.; Bethany Testerman, W, Jr.; Laken Pardue, D-W, Sr.; Amber Parks, F, Jr.; Hannah Jolly, GK, Sr.; Katie Huffman, D-MF, Sr.; Maggie Weatherman, D, Jr.; Amanda Ford, W-F, Sr.; Morgan Cockerham, W-F-GK, Jr.; Molly Callaway, MF, Sr.; Brooke Schubart, MF, So.; Brittany Schubart, W-F, Sr.; Melia Higgins, F, So.; Courtney Anderson, F-W, So.; Krystal Carter, F, Jr.; Katie Mickel, D, So.
Newcomers: Hannah Holbrook, W-MF-D, Jr.; Kinsey Crabb, D-W, Fr.; Abby Reeves, W-F, Fr.; Carly Lamm, F, Fr.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.