Panther alumnae leave big cleats to fill


Shelby Foster

Head coach John Bowen instructs two soccer players at practice. The Lady Panthers start their season with a revamped offense at home against Sandy Creek tomorrow at 5:55 p.m.

Jenna Sanders, Staff Writer

A loss to Columbus in the semifinals last season was the final blow for the Lady Panthers. The Lady Panthers look for new success after losing senior star players Lauren Yoss, the all-time leading goal scorer for Starr’s Mill now playing for Armstrong State University, and forward Rilee Clark, now playing for Columbus State University.

“You don’t worry about replacing them,” head coach John Bowen said. “Every year is a new year.”

While the Lady Panthers were 19-4 overall, they went undefeated in the region. This year, the team will experience many new difficulties playing in a tougher region, as well as out of county play, including St. Pius, but the main focus will be on in-county region matches.

“As always, the local games are big,” Bowen said. “McIntosh, Whitewater, and Fayette are in our county as well as our region, making them important wins.”

After losing Yoss and Clark there is only one question, “Where will the goals come from?” Bowen said. The two brought the majority of the points for the Lady Panthers last year. Seniors Ashley Broderick, Ansley Peurifoy, and Ashton Nowicki as well as sophomore Rachel Davison bring a strong offense. On defense, the Lady Panthers must replace goalkeeper Ashlyn Walloch, now playing for Truett McConnell University, who surrendered a meager two goals in region play last season. Senior Spencer Dawson will take over running the defense and protecting the net.

“We have several people who are good around the box,” Bowen said. “We also have a lot of people who are playing out of their positions and doing well at it.”

The Lady Panthers played a scrimmage at Pope on Feb. 3, losing the match 5-0.

The Lady Panthers begin their season with five consecutive home games, their first being against Sandy Creek at 5:55 p.m. tomorrow.