Lady Vikes enjoying fast start to season

Published 11:15 am Monday, November 12, 2012

Warren Central’s offense took a big hit this offseason when its three leading scorers all graduated.

When the other team can’t score, however, it’s less of a problem.

The Lady Vikes have allowed only one goal during a 5-0 start. The next test is Tuesday night at perennial power Madison Central.

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WC coach Trey Banks said a strong, efficient offense and rotating players through a number of positions has allowed the defense to thrive.

“We’re holding possession of the ball and moving off the ball, which is supporting the defense,” Banks said. “All of our forwards are scoring goals.”

The strong start has given the Lady Vikes renewed optimism in what figured to be a rebuilding year. Lindsey Barfield, Lindsey Burris and Taylor Hanes — who combined to score 45 of the team’s 63 goals last season — all graduated. So did one of the team’s best defenders, Taylor Danzcyk.

Danzcyk and Hanes are now playing at Meridian Community College.

A team-oriented approach has not only kept the Lady Vikes from skipping a beat, but seemingly allowed them to take a step forward. Seven players have scored at least one goal so far this season, and 11 have recorded at least one assist.

Kara Martin has four goals in the last three games and leads the team with five total. Freshman Macy Joseph is right behind with four goals.

The Lady Vikes have outscored their five opponents 19-1, and goal keeper McKenzie Page has only had to make 10 saves.

The defensive unit of Hannah Miller, Meghan Palmertree, Kylee Burke and Drew Barnes has been able to clean up whatever gets past midfield, which has made things easy for Page in her first season in net. Page is taking over for Katie Humphries, who has moved to forward and has three goals and an assist this season.

“Defensively, we’re going to be pretty strong,” Banks said. “Kylee Burke and Kelcey McMaster started and gained a lot of experience in the defensive midfield.”

Warren Central’s boys’ team is also enjoying a strong start to the 2012-13 season. A three-game winning streak was snapped Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Bay High. The 3-1 record is a welcome sight after the Vikings lost several productive seniors from a team that has gone 43-18-2 over the past three seasons.

A key for the Vikings will be senior forward Ahstin Greer. He scored 16 goals and had five assists last season, and already has three goals this year.

Junior keeper Baxter Richardson, who had 122 saves and made the All-County team last season, is also back.

Junior Gray Cordes had a goal and four assists last season and will have to help Greer on the offensive end until returning starters Michael Mason and Jade Pollock round into soccer shape. Both Mason and Pollock, along with Tyler Pace, played with WC’s football team. That season ended last Friday, and all three players will make their soccer debuts Tuesday at Madison Central.

“We have a good core, but we know this is a rebuilding year for us,” coach Greg Head said. “What we need is for our young guys to fill in and be productive while we wait for the football players like Michael Mason, Jade Pollock and Tyler Pace to get back. Once they get back, we should have a little bit of depth.”