Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Sandy Creek Lady Patriots aiming for state playoffs
By MICHAEL BOYLAN
With two games left in the regular season to determine their seeding in the state playoffs, Sandy Creeks Lady Patriots are 10-4-1 overall and 4-2 in the region. Last week saw the girls beat Douglas County 4-2 and then lost to Chapel Hill 4-2. Last night, the girls played at Alexander and tomorrow they will close out the season with their senior night against Northgate at 5:30 p.m.
The top four teams in the region will head to the playoffs and how the team fares in the final two games will determine their seeding. So far, the Lady Patriots have had a good season, but a couple of postseason wins would be the icing on the cake, especially for the seniors on the squad.
The teams coach is Kayla Seabolt and she is assisted by Melanie Phillips. Coach Seabolt has seen a number of members of her team step up this season and the future looks promising for the Lady Patriots, as several key members of the squad are only freshmen.
In the net for the Lady Patriots is sophomore Kristen Burnett, who has posted five shutouts for the team this year and has made numerous key saves throughout the season. Seabolt feels that Burnett may be one of the best field players on the squad but her goalkeeping skills keep her in the net most of the time. On defense are seniors Katie Wallace, Megan Rast and Carmen Carrion, junior Lauren Kircher and sophomore Kaite ONeil.
ONeil is the best defensive player I have right now, said Seabolt, of the sophomore stopper. She has transitioned better than I could have ever imagined.
Both Wallace and Carrion are coming off injuries this year and are important in protecting Burnett from facing too many shots. According to Seabolt, Rast is a very versatile and tough player who never gives up, while Kircher, the sweeper, is consistent and dependable, helping transition balls to the midfielders and offense.
In the midfield, senior Malika Rajendra helps the team pick up the pace. She has played center midfield for the past three seasons and has grown into the position more and more each year.
She just has an awesome shot and a great mind for soccer, said Seabolt. The rest of the midfield is made up of junior Meghan Jones, sophomore Heather Vernon and freshmen Dana Morrison, Maureen Flaherty and Ally Treat. Jones transferred to Sandy Creek this year and was out for awhile due to injury. She is back and has proven herself to be a strong and competitive player, while Vernon, has transitioned from playing as a goalie to becoming a strong midfielder for the team. Coach Seabolt stated that Morrison improves with each game in the midfield and Flaherty is the most improved player on the team this year. She then offered lots of praise for Treat.
Allys skills are top-notch. She has a great shot and cross the ball better than anyone I have ever seen, Seabolt said. She has some confidence to gain, but she will prove to be an asset to Sandy Creek for many years to come.
Junior Stefanie Boetcher, a midfield player, was out for the season due to knee surgery.
At the forward positions are junior Katie Wilson and freshman Savannah Woody. Wilson leads the team with 15 goals and is known to her coaches and teammates as Sparkplug. Seabolt stated that Wilson has continued to improve her foot skills over the years and is incredibly fast. Though Woody is only a freshman she has contributed a lot to the Sandy Creek team this year and is another player who continues to improve with each game.
Though the Lady Patriots will see several of their teammates graduate this year, much of the team will return next season. They should have the experience and the hunger to be a force in the region .
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