BOUNTIFUL – If there was one girls’ soccer team in 4A that was light on leadership and experience in 2013, it was the Bountiful Braves.
Still, only four seniors and a crop of juniors were able to guide the Lady Braves to a berth in the 4A playoffs.
They lost in the first round to Bonneville, and coach Lou Plank thought it was one of the reasons why they were eliminated too early.
This season, the team will boast as many as 19 seniors and juniors as the team becomes more balanced from one class to another. Plank is confident it will help the Braves get further into the playoffs in 2014.
“We’re going to carry nine seniors and 10 juniors, and we’re going to have a group of go-to seniors that the players can really rely on this year,” Plank said. “We have some players that will provide us with some good scoring opportunities too. This team isn’t going to be afraid to take some shots and score a bunch of goals.”
The Braves started the season with a 4-2 win over Park City on the road, a game that saw junior Sophia Skedros score two goals and an assist. Skedros, Plank said, will be a super dangerous player with the opportunity to score from anywhere on the field.
Seniors Abby Clark and Liz Crezee are two of the leaders that will be providing on-field advice as the team continues to move forward, a gap for Bountiful could be its goal keeping play.
Charity Cole graduated, leaving three other keepers in line to take the helm at the net.
Victoria Thompson and Samantha Gordon are currently the two competing for more playing time and Plank had praises for both of them.
He has yet to decide which will see the most playing time before region play comes along.
“The complexion of the team right now is to score and present ourselves with scoring opportunities,” he said. “Against Park City I think we out-shot them 8-2 in the first half and 5-1 in the second half and it’s evident that a lot of those kids want to be able to score.”
Plank also said if the team continues to attack like they did against Park City, the pressure won’t be as high at the net to keep teams from scoring. Still, his defense is just as solid as his offense.
“Our back line is solid,” he said. “They’re committed to playing fundamental and tactical soccer, and this is a group that loves to share the ball. I’m really excited about this year. I think we’re going to be awesome.”
Bountiful ended last season with a 12-4-1 overall record and was 12-2 in Region 6. They lost to Bonneville 1-0 in the first round of the state 4A girls’ soccer playoffs.
Lady Braves 2014 schedule
8-15 @ Davis
8-22 @ Highland
9-5 @ Cyprus
9-10 @ Clearfield
9-12 WOODS CROSS
9-19 @ Kearns
9-24 @ East
10-8 @ Woods Cross