Veteran Bobcat team looks forward to successful year
By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., Oct. 4, 2011
With only one player lost from last year’s team, eight-year Bacon Academy girls’ soccer coach Christine Taylor and her players have reason to be optimistic about the season, even with their move to the ECC Large division.
"Last year was pretty successful. We had a good team, and we’ve got pretty much the same team this year, except for a brand new goalie,” said Taylor. “We have a few new faces. We are shaking things up a little bit.”
Taylor said she is not going to worry about the move to the new division, and that she doesn’t expect any great surprises from the competition. “We’re pretty familiar with the majority of the teams,” she said, adding that over the years, Bacon has had some success against those teams.
One of the keys to the Bobcats’ success this season is freshman goalie Kylie Frink, who showed why she has the confidence of both Taylor and her teammates by earning a 3-0 shutout in the team’s opener against East Lyme. “She’s feisty, and I’m a coach who really appreciates feisty,” said Taylor, who also pointed to the team’s midfielders as a particular strength.
“A.J. Wienberger has really good ball control from the mid-field position. She’s a very good athlete, and a nice kid with a good head on her shoulders,” said Taylor, adding that Olivia Cormier “is also a very smart player in the mid-field.”
The team captains, junior Jennifer Stec and seniors Kristin McAdams and Ellen Schroeder, all of whom have been playing for the Bobcats since entering high school, echoed Taylor’s confidence about this season.
“We have a good team,” said Stec. “We lost our goalie, but we managed to find a great goalie [in Frink].”
Because so many of the same players are returning from last year’s team, McAdams said, “the team chemistry will be better this year.”
“We were younger last year,” added Schroder, who said that the team lost nine seniors in her sophomore year, “and we’ve been rebuilding ever since then.” But now, with a veteran team, “this year should be a good year,” she said.
In addition to their confidence in the team, Stec, McAdams and Schroder also share a love for the game of soccer; a love that started years ago in youth leagues.
“I’ve always played it [soccer], and I’ve always loved it,” said McAdams, who has been playing since the age of 4. She said her parents also met at a soccer club.
The Colchester youth programs, which were started years ago by Taylor’s father, have been “a tremendous help” for the high school program, said Taylor. When they started, she said, there was one soccer field, “and you literally had to ride around looking for an 11th player when you wanted to play Waterford,” she said.
“Now, numbers-wise, it’s comparable, if not a little bigger, to Little League,” she said. Being able to play year-round, led by quality coaches, not only helps her team, said Taylor, but inspires players to achieve at a high level. A number of Bacon players have gone on to play successfully at the college level.
“They really want it,” said Taylor.