The Dexter Tigers girls soccer team will be hoping the 2015 season is a reloading season rather than a rebuilding year.The Tigers have lost 21 players to graduation in the last two years. They have 11 incoming freshmen this season. A strong senior group helped Dexter get 10 wins last season.
“We have a lot of young and inexperienced kids. That is to be expected when you graduated 21 girls in the last two years,”Dexter coach Jody Grant said. “We have very few kids back with any experience and we have 11 freshmen. They (freshmen)may find themselves playing in some crucial spots for us.”
Skyler Theodore, Jenna Crane, and Stacey Allen are the only seniors on Grant’s roster. Theodore and Kayli Cunningham are the only returning starters. Ashley Reynolds and Jasmine Woodard played in a reserve role last season. They will be regular starters this season.
The freshmen trio of Kaylee Deering, Hannah Dorman, and Addyson Herrick could all see significant minutes. Other freshmen and first year players will also see time.
Grant expects Deering and Dorman to jump into the starting lineup, Herrick and junior Reaghan Patterson will get time as goalie during the preseason. Peterson was the goalie for the junior varsity team last season.
“Hannah Dorman and Kaylee Derring could be starters and play significant minutes. Other freshmen will also see plenty of time.” Grant said. “She (Herrick) has never been goalie beforeShe has been excited to try the position out. We will see what happens with her going forward.”
Having such a large group of young players, makes it a challenge off the field as much as on the field sometimes. These group of Tigers have adjusted quickly.
“Anytime there is that much turnover you need to start building a team.to get to know each other, building trust and care in your teammates,”Grant said. “We are slowly becoming a nucleus, not just independent parts. I have been impressed with our older kids ability to relate to those younger kids and welcoming them in with open arms.”
Theodore added, “We have a whole lot of new players, but we are getting along really well. We have a lot of young players, but they all at going to help the team. It is going to be tough to fill the footsteps of those seniors. They (freshmen) are young, so it is going to take a while, but they are capable of filling in nicely.”
Crane added, “We lost a lot of seniors last year,we have been doing really good. We got about the same number of freshmen as we had seniors last year. They (freshmen) did really well in middle school, and they are very good players.”
Allen added, “I didn’t think they would do very well, but they stepped in and have done a good job.”
Theodore played a key role as stopper last season. She has been a key in the Tigers lineup since her sophomore year. This year, she will again be a key force no matter where she ends up playing. This group of upperclassmen have been overshadowed by the talented and athletic group that graduated from Dexter high school this past June.
Grant said, “They (seniors) are wonderful examples for these younger kids. It is now their time. I am excited for them”.
The Tigers will open the regular season at Piscataquis community high school in Guilford, in a game that Eastern Maine Sports will be broadcasting live. They will follow with a game at Central, before playing their home opener against Penquis.