WYOMING – After graduating eight seniors, Wyoming High School’s girls soccer squad hope to build on last year’s performance that ended in the sectional finals.
Coach Lauren Gruber’s Cowboys were 7-9-3, but 4-2-1 in the Cincinnati Hills League behind Madeira, Indian Hill and Mariemont.
Gruber gets back Kayla Hampton, Jasmine Evans, Casey Jervier and Olivia Munneke. Hampton, Evans and Jervier all had successful freshman seasons with with Hampton making CHL first team and all-city last year as the team’s top goal scorer.
Munneke was second-team CHL and will be a three-year starter in goal heading up an experienced defense.
“Wyoming will be young, but energized after getting a taste of a successful tournament run to the sectional finals last year,” Gruber said.
The Cowboys open on the road at Little Miami Aug. 23 and at Princeton Aug. 25. The home opener is with league rival Madeira Aug. 27.
Princeton High School struggled through a 2-13-2 season in 2013, including a 1-7-1 record in the Greater Miami Conference, one step ahead of the league basement spot occupied by 0-9 Middletown.
Head coach Rich Ledford hopes for better things in his second season.
Hailey Martin was Princeton’s only all-GMC first team selection last season, but she graduated. Abby Stevens returns for her senior campaign after picking up second team honors in the goal for the Vikings as a junior. She’ll have help in front of her with returning senior Adi Preston anchoring the defense.
In fact, the defense should be a strength of the team with the addition of junior Terrin McCullough and senior Taylor Thomas to the varsity roster.
Sophomore forward Jaelyn Stanley tallied the only goal in a 3-1 loss against Mason last season – she also scored in a 3-3 tie against Winton Woods – and should help up front. Hannah Cunningham was a midfield anchor as a junior and should provide leadership.
“We are a very young team looking to build on our previous season and show positive progress going forward,” Ledford said. “We have a solid group of players that work hard and are looking forward to improving throughout the season.
Princeton opens the Aug. 20 at Talawanda and hosts Wyoming Aug. 25.
Former Xavier player and assistant coach Keri Heedum takes over the soccer program at Mount Notre Dame, where she is also an assistant athletic director.
The Cougars were 6-5-6 in 2013 and 1-2-2 in the Girls Greater Catholic League.
GGCL first team goalkeeper Sam Leshnak is back and will be supported by centerback Kacy Eckley, forward Holly Denny, midfielder Grace Wilson and midfielder/goalkeeper Jenna Prathapa.
After the Aug. 19 opener with Mason, MND is at Lebanon on Aug. 25. Rivalry games of note are Sept. 3 at St. Ursula and home with Ursuline Sept. 24.