Success is what the Trinity Christian Academy girls’ soccer team has continued to build toward over the last eight years.
The Lady Lions have taken big steps along the way with none bigger that the sectional appearance in 2010. Last year, behind the scoring of Brynne Lytle, TCA reached sectionals again — even though it wasn’t expected at the beginning of the season.
“I think we peaked at the right time,” Lytle said. “But the end of the district schedule, we were playing well together. At the beginning, I didn’t expect it, but the pieces fell together at the right time.”
With the knowledge of a large nucleus of last year’s team returning this year, the team believed that they could be just as good.
One problem last year was the team’s lack of depth with few players on the bench to be used as substitutes. The Lady Lions did get a good incoming class of freshman talent that could immediately help, but they had to jell.
“We all started developing friendships over the summer before we started on the soccer field,” Lytle said.
Lytle scored 26 goals last season, and she was the go-to player on offense with fellow veteran Jennifer Briley spending time injured. This year, Briley is back, and TCA has some younger players that have shown a knack for scoring like Addie Rogers.
“I feel like we have more scoring threats this year,” Lytle said.
Those multiple scoring threats have helped the Lady Lions to win seven of their first nine games with the lone loss coming against Jackson Christian and a tie coming against Liberty.
TCA hasn’t taken an easy schedule either to get to this point of the season, as Lytle said that the biggest win of the season was against District 13 A-AA favorite Dyersburg 4-1.
“I looked at that game like we showed that we can compete against the good teams,” she said. “It showed that we can win tough games. In the past couple years, if it was a close game, we came out with a loss. We have beaten teams this year that we haven’t beaten before.
But just as the Lady Lions have beaten those good teams, they allowed five goals against in a tie against Liberty and a loss to Covington.
“We have a lot of new players, and we have tried them in different positions,” Lytle said. “Those higher scores was when we haven’t found where the players were needed. We found our strongest defenders.”
So the goal this year is to take that next step and get to the state tournament for the first time in program history, but there is still much to accomplish between now and then.
“We want to go to state,” Lytle said. “We made sectionals last year, and we know we have the ability to do it. We have a week off this week to just practice, and we have to just go into the rest of our games with the same mentality that we have been.”
Michael Odom, 425-9754