Senior Cardyn Hall said her Cuthbertson girls’ soccer squad is much more than just a team.To understand how they feel, look no further than the 2011 team T-shirt that many of the girls still wear.“Our motto has always been ‘Our family against your team,’ ” said Hall. “We are all so close on and off the field. We push each other every day. I think that gives us a huge advantage.”The results have shown on the field: Cuthbertson is 83-16-5 overall and 57-2-2 in Rocky River Conference play in their four years as a program.The Cavaliers went to the 2A state semifinals in 2010, won it all in 2011, were state runner-up in 2012 and advanced to the 2A quarterfinals last season.“It all started early on in the first year; we had a great group of girls that we’re really close,” coach Nelson Garner said. “They all clicked right away and created a tradition of excellence. That winning environment and expectation has been passed to each team.” The Cavaliers have the same expectations going into the 2014 season, but they face a new challenge as they move up to class 3A and into the Southern Carolina Conference, with perennial powers Marvin Ridge, Sun Valley and Weddington.With seven starters back in mix, though, Cuthbertson is looking forward to everything this year has to offer.“We are extremely excited about moving into 3A and the new conference,” Hall said. “We believe we are going to rise to the challenge and prove to everybody we belong in 3A and can handle it, and hang with anyone. We keep hearing ‘You can’t,’ or ‘You’re too small,’ and things like that. All that just motivates us more. But we don’t need to talk about it; we are eager to show it on field.”They may be young, but the Cavaliers do still have a team loaded with talent, starting with an offense that averaged five goals per game last year.Back to lead the way is junior forward Emily Weisberg, who scored 20 goals and had 20 assists last year. She was voted a team co-captain for this season.She will have help up top with classmate Cassie Robb (18 goals last year) and Nikolete Hurrinus (nine goals, nine assists last year), an all-state sprinter who has signed with Wake Forest. All three should help ease the loss of Bridget Coomber (26 goals last year). The Cavalier midfield includes all-region senior Daniela Dangond, and sophomores Emma Sosinski and Brandi Walker.The defense, which allowed only nine goals in 2013, will miss leader Phenix Durham. But it has three key players back in all-region sophomore Ashton Duty, Hall and goalkeeper Elizabeth Fogleman.The Cavaliers play a tough nonconference slate with Lake Norman, Ardrey Kell, Providence High, Jacksonsville, Swansboro, South Mecklenburg, Forbush – who beat them in the playoffs last year – and Charlotte Country Day.Garner believes all of this will help his team be ready to compete for a conference championship – and more.“There’s no question we are going into the best 3A conference in the state, top to bottom,” Garner said. “It’s a great challenge, but our girls know what they are getting into, and our expectations and goals won’t change. We want to win a conference championship and be a big factor in the playoffs. But we are going to have to lace it every night and bring our best.”
Tuesday, Mar. 04, 2014
Cuthbertson girls’ soccer hopes to continue success in new class, conference
Five girls’ soccer players to watch
• Elizabeth Fogleman, Cuthbertson, Sr. – Goalkeeper. Senior co-captain back to lead the Cavaliers defense. Co-captain Emily Weisberg (20 goals, 20 assists last year) will have a major impact on the offense.
• Chandler Arrowood, Weddington, Sr. – Midfielder. Two-time all-state midfielder, reigning Southern Carolina Conference player of the year and Western Carolina signee teams with fellow all-state senior Virginia Lingo (UNC Charlotte signee).
• Alyssa Ventura, Marvin Ridge, Sr. – Forward. All-region forward part of a balanced squad that wants to improve on its 17-4 mark and third-round playoff run last season.
• Kiersten Peck, Sun Valley, Sr. – Forward. All-region, all-conference performer and Catawba College signee back to help lead a 17-win Spartan team with all-region teammates Mallory Hopkins and Kile Powell.
• Nikki Torres, Union Academy, Jr. – Midfielder. All-conference, all-region midfielder and team captain leads a talented Cardinal team with players like all-region Anna Sidders and Linsey Starnes.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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