Eight Sumner County girls soccer teams begin their seasons on Monday. Hendersonville is coming off its first appearance in the state tournament since 2006, while White House is attempting to make its second trip to Murfreesboro in school history after three consecutive sectional losses. Station Camp, Beech, Gallatin and Portland all are seeking to knock the Lady Commandos off in District 9-AAA. Merrol Hyde Magnet is seeking a berth in the region tournament for the third time in four seasons, while Pope John Paul II is competing for a spot in the Division II-Class AA state semifinals.
Capsules for each team, in alphabetical order:
Last season: 13-5, lost 3-0 to Station Camp in District 9-AAA semifinals
Key returnees: Kendra Mueller, Soph., defender, McCall Decker, Sr., defender, Natalie Lankster, Jr., forward.
Beech had its streak of three consecutive Region 5-AAA Tournament appearances snapped with a district semifinal loss to Station Camp, and the Lady Buccaneers lost eight seniors to graduation, including All-County Goalkeeper of the Year Allie Guinn and two All-County first-teamers in forward Kendon Curtis and defender Izzy Morgan.
Last season: 8-8-1, lost 2-0 to Station Camp in District 9-AAA Tournament quarterfinals
Key returnees: Veda Hooge, Sr., forward; Abi Green, Jr., goalkeeper; Ally Clodfelter, Sr., defender; Kate Johnson, Jr., defender; Courtney Bryan, Jr., midfield; Maizie Vincent; Sr., defender.
Gallatin returns nearly all of last year’s squad, as the Lady Wave lost only two seniors to graduation. Six All-County honorees return for the Lady Wave, who finished sixth in the regular season in District 9-AAA last year. Gallatin is seeking to break a long postseason drought, as the Lady Wave last reached the region tournament in 1998.
Last season: 15-5-3, District 9-AAA champion, Region 5-AAA runner-up, lost 5-0 to Houston in Class AAA state quarterfinals
Key returnees: Sydney Cason, Sr., midfield (All-County Co-Offensive Player of the Year); Claire Almaraz, Sr., defender (All-County Defensive Player of the Year); Haley Stephens, Sr., forward; Arden Butler, Sr., defender, Makensie Cotter, Sr., goalkeeper; Brooke Long, Jr., forward, Erica Hudson, Sr., midfield.
Hendersonville returns most of its key contributors from last season’s state tournament run, as 10 seniors are a part of this year’s Lady Commando squad. Eleven juniors join that group, giving Hendersonville plenty of experience as the Lady Commandos chase their sixth-consecutive District 9-AAA championship.
Merrol Hyde Magnet
Last season: 7-10-1, fell 1-0 to Smith County in District 8 A-AA Tournament semifinals
Key returnees: Valeria Rewa, Sr., defender; Skylar Bentley, Jr., midfield; Paige Clinard, Sr., midfield; Addison Oaks, Sr., forward.
The Lady Hawks will be looking to return to the Region 4 A-AA Tournament after falling in the district semifinals last season. Merrol Hyde Magnet had been the District 8 A-AA runner-up in 2013 and 2014.
The Lady Hawks return most of last year’s squad, as only three seniors graduated from the 2015 team. Merrol Hyde Magnet should also get a boost with senior Emilie Boone’s return from injury.
Pope John Paul II
Last season: 3-8-3, lost 2-1 to Father Ryan in first round of Division II-Class AA state tournament
Key returnees: Claire Mertens, Sr., forward; Tiegan Clausen, Soph., forward; AnMei Little, Jr., defender.
The Lady Knights were hit rather hard by graduation, as PJP II lost seven seniors from last year’s squad, including Catherine Meyer (16 goals, five assists). PJP II’s last appearance in the state semifinals came in 2010. Three All-County honorees return for the Lady Knights, who reached the state quarterfinals two seasons ago.
Last season: 7-10-1, lost 5-0 to Beech in District 9-AAA Tournament quarterfinals
Key returnees: M.K. Reels, Soph., midfield; Vicky Roe, Sr., goalkeeper; Chasey Piper, Soph., forward; Sam Vance, Jr., defender.
Portland won seven of its first nine matches, including a district victory against Wilson Central, before going winless in the Lady Panthers’ final nine matches of the season. Portland lost just one graduating senior, so the Lady Panthers return nearly all of last year’s squad. Portland’s last trip to the region tournament came in 2008, when the Lady Panthers competed in Class A-AA.
Last season: 14-6-3, District 9-AAA runner-up, lost 2-0 to Clarksville in Region 5-AAA Tournament semifinals
Key returnees: Megan Brinkley, Sr., forward (All-County Co-Offensive Player of the Year); Michaela Nicholson, Soph., forward; Lauren Smith, Sr., midfield; Arianna Orellana, Jr., defender; Victoria Brown, Sr., defender; Macy Carter, Soph., defender.
The Lady Bison returned to the region tournament for the first time since 2011 last season, and with six returning All-County nominees, Station Camp is eager to challenge for its first district title since 2010.
Three seniors and five juniors make up the Lady Bison’s group of upperclassmen, with 15 sophomores on board for the 2016 season.
Last season: 15-4-3, District 9 A-AA champion, Region 5 A-AA champion, lost 4-3 to Page in sectional round
Key returnees: Madisson Davis, Jr., forward (All-County Player of the Year); Mallory Humphries, Jr., midfield; Leanna Nesbitt, Soph., midfield; Allyson Trimmer, Soph., defender; Mazie Burrow, Soph., midfield; Hannah Cook, Jr., defender; Alivia Vogel, Soph., goalkeeper.
The Lady Devils missed out on a trip to the Class A-AA state tournament after falling in the sectional round for the third consecutive season. White House had a young team last season and only lost three graduating seniors. The Lady Devils have reached the sectional round in each of the last four seasons, including the 2012 Class A-AA state tournament semifinals.
Reach Chris Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @CB_SumnerSports, and on Snapchat @cbrooksgne.