3/14/2017 5:35:00 PM Lady 'Cats looking for more wins this season
by Brent Sumner Staff writer
The Wilmington varsity girls soccer team will have only one direction to move this year and that is up.
The Lady Wildcats were winless (0-13) in 2016, but that should change in 2017 after extra work put in during the off season and a core group of lettermen returning.
The team will be coached by David Blackburn, who is also the boys soccer coach. Blackburn is looking forward to the upcoming season, and hopes to see his team improve substantially.
"The girls want to get out of the cellar of the I-8 conference," Blackburn said about the upcoming season. "They have been working hard in the offseason, and we want the results."
The Lady Wildcats lost only two seniors to graduation, and will be returning plenty of athletes from last year's young roster.
While the loss of Alicia Enz, one of the top offensive players on the line-up, is a concern, Wilmington will bring back several key players.
Bri Boynton, Angel Boynton and Liz Henderson will be looking to make bigger impacts this season, and Blackburn is expecting them to.
"I expect much more possession and pace out of our center midfielders, Bri Boynton and Liz Henderson, this year," he said. "Angel Boynton will also be our small extremely aggressive sweeper that will lead our defense."
While the Lady Wildcats will be looking to get off on the right foot, their schedule will be unforgiving.
Wilmington will start the season against tough opponents in the first six weeks.
The Lady Wildcats will open their season Monday, weather permitting, by hosting Reed-Custer. The Lady Comets ended Wilmington's season last year in the Regional (7-0).
From there, Wilmington will host Morris, Manteno and Streator, all powerhouses, and then travel to Bishop McNamara and Coal City.
The season doesn't get much easier from there either, but Blackburn has his eye on the prize, getting some wins for the program.
"A few wins this season will go a long way for the program," he said. "We have a good group of underclassmen that look to benefit from the exposure that they receive this year."