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GIRLS SOCCER PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
Lambert Soccer Preview 10 web
Led by senior starters Brook Endres (from left), Keely Cartrett, Evan Boland, Riley Geran and Maggie Hanusek, Lambert is most certainly going to be among the handful of teams expected to contend for the Class AAAAAA state championship after falling to Grayson in the state finals a year ago. - photo by Micah Green

GIRLS SOCCER

Forsyth Central

Coach: Angela Camp, first season.

Last season: 6-9.

Key returners: D Abbey Fagan, Sr.; F Kara Slaughter, Sr.

Key newcomers: D Morgan Dech, Fr.; F Callie Fagan, Fr.; GK Allie Strunk, Fr.

Outlook: Forsyth Central promoted assistant coach Angela Camp to head coach this past offseason, and Camp gets a boost in her first season at the helm with the return of the team’s offensive and defensive leaders. Seniors Kara Slaughter, a forward, and Abbey Fagan, a defender, were both second-team all-county selections last season. But the Lady Bulldogs have plenty of experience returning after graduating just one senior off last season’s team. Camp is putting emphasis on finishing with this season’s team. “Last year we had numerous opportunities to score and struggled,” Camp said.  

Lambert

Coach: Scott Luthart, seventh season.

Last season: 20-3, lost in Class AAAAAA state championship.

Key returners: F Briarly Beauchamp, Sr.; D Evan Boland, Sr.; MF Keely Cartrett, Sr.; D M.E. Craven, Soph.; GK Jordyn Ebert, Jr.; F Maddie Eddleman, Jr.; D Brooke Endres, Sr.; F Maggie Hanusek, Sr.; MF Riley Geran, Sr.

Key newcomers: D Ellie Prybylski, Fr.; MF Brooke Schuyler, Fr.

Outlook: With all but three starters back from last season’s Class AAAAAA state runner-up team, Lambert is most certainly going to be among the handful of teams expected to contend again for a state championship. The Lady Longhorns would seem to have most of the ingredients necessary to do so: scorers in Maddie Eddleman, Maggie Hanusek and Keely Cartrett; defense from Evan Boland, M.E. Craven, Brooke Endres and Riley Geran; and a talented keeper in Jordyn Ebert. Lambert has its question marks, like how to replace forward Emily Haugen, last year’s Forsyth County Girls Player of the Year, or defender Kat Matthews, a team captain and defensive leader last season. Still, the Lady Longhorns seem to have the right mix of experience and interchangeable parts to figure it out. “It is always our goal to be in the state championship argument at season’s end,” Lambert head coach Scott Luthart said.

North Forsyth

Coach: Jared Steinberg, first season.

Last season: 6-9.

Key returners: MF/F Alex Chesna, Sr.; MF Olivia Dumphy, Sr.; GK Kat Fisher, Soph.; D Gigi Fulkerson, Sr.; D Ellie Johnson, Sr.

Key newcomers: MF Canby Biddle, Fr.; GK Savannah Cummings, Fr.

Outlook: A new era begins for Lady Raiders soccer under first-year head coach Jared Steinberg, who to North after two years at South Forsyth as an assistant and several more before that at Woodland-Stockbridge as the head boys soccer coach. Steinberg got a boost for his debut with the return of Olivia Dumphy, a Georgia State commit who did not play for North last season but was an all-county selection in 2014. North also has senior leadership on defense with Gigi Fulkerson and Ellie Johnson. But overall, the Lady Raiders don’t have a lot of experience – probably a good season than for Steinberg to implement his program. “With a new culture and competitive environment, I think the team will play better than it did in the past several years,” Steinberg said.

Pinecrest Academy

Coach: Domenic Martelli, first season.

Last season: 8-6, lost in second round of Class AAAAAA playoffs.

Key returners: D Caroline Brenner, Sr.; F Maggie Bruckner, Sr.; MF Erin Houlihan, Soph.; D Bridgid McCabe, Jr.; F Margaret Metz, Jr.; MF Regina Metz, Soph.; MF Giana Papa, Sr.

Key newcomers: MF Grace Aufleger, Fr.; D Olivia Gannon, Fr.

Outlook: First-year head coach Domenic Martelli walks into a great situation with the Lady Paladins after they reached the state playoffs for the first time since joining the Georgia High School Association and won a first round game. Pinecrest returns a bevy of talent, led by sophomore midfielder Erin Houlihan, who burst onto the scene last season with 17 goals and 11 assists; the Metz sisters, Margaret and Regina; and two-time all-area defender Caroline Brenner. Pinecrest appears to be a team on the rise. “This team is excited to move into the state playoffs and advance further than they did last year,” Martelli said.

South Forsyth

Coach: Tom Braun, 12th season.

Last season: 14-4, lost in first round of Class AAAAAA playoffs.

Key returners: D Alex Melnyk, Sr.; D Allie Norton, Jr.; D Allyson Peppenhorst, Jr.; MF Meagan Postell, Jr.; MF Payton Schurr, Soph.; MF Reagan Smith, Soph.; F Jenna Vollrath, Soph.

Key newcomers:  MF Nikki Bario, Fr.; F Lauren Kelly, Fr.; D Marissa McAfee, Soph.

Outlook: The Lady War Eagles are a young team, but they’re a young team that gained valuable experience last season when they finished third in a competitive region and reached the state playoffs where they lost 2-0 to Walton. It’s somewhat of a changing of the guard for South, particularly on defense, where the Lady War Eagles have to replace long-timer goalkeeper Hannah Goudy and defender Elena Zang. But South has weapons returning, especially forward Jenna Vollrath, who tied for the county lead in goals last season as a freshman with 17, and Meagan Postell (8G). Expect the Lady War Eagles to again compete for a state playoff spot. How far they go will depend on how much the young talent has grown up since last season.

West Forsyth

Coach: Jason Bayush, third season.

Last season: 7-9.

Key returners: D Kristy Jebavy, Soph.; D Carsen Parker, Jr.; MF Brooke Pirkle, Jr.

Key newcomers: Kylee Gazza, Fr.; GK A.J. Needham, Fr.

Outlook: The Lady Wolverines have been on the cusp of getting back into the state playoffs the past two seasons, falling just outside of the top four in Region 6-AAAAAA. West has to replace four-year starter Landen Bowman (now at UAB) and all-county selection Alyssa Robertson in the midfield, but the Lady Wolverines still have Arkansas verbal commits Carsen Parker and Brooke Pirkle, both juniors. Third-year coach Jason Bayush likes the potential of the team’s defense, including sophomore Kristy Jebavy. “We have the tools,” Bayush said, “we just need them to work together.”