THERE might not have been a soccer program more happy to take the field last Monday than Jefferson.
A combination of gaps in the schedule and weather cancellations pushed the Lady Dragons’ season opener back nearly a month. As it stands now, Jefferson’s girls have played just three times but are off to a 2-0-1 start, beating Oglethorpe 4-2 March 10 in their long-awaited opener and then rolling through Washington-Wilkes 10-0 Friday. The team tied Winder-Barrow 2-2 Tuesday night.
“It’s great,” Jefferson coach Todd Parker said of finally getting back on the field. “Now we can see what we have and where we have to improve.”
While the game against a struggling Washington-Wilkes program wasn’t competitive, Parker pointed to the victory over Oglethorpe County as a quality win.
“We love playing with them,” he said. “They’re right along side us as far as skill level.”
The Lady Dragons find themselves in the full swing of things now, having played Tuesday against Winder-Barrow and now facing a region matchup with Social Circle this Friday at home at 5:30 p.m. This will mark a special occasion as both the Lady Dragons and Dragons will celebrate Senior Night with a game in Jefferson Memorial Stadium. The soccer program usually plays at the recreation department.
“That in our stadium and that’s our senior night, so the girls are really pumped about that,” Parker said.
Stephanie Lamm and Kayla Brown are off to fast offensive starts for Jefferson, which retained most all of its key players from last year’s Sweet 16 team. Lamm has five goals — three of which came in the lopsided win against overmatched Washington-Wilkes. Brown has six goals, four coming against Washington-Wilkes.
“Kayla Brown and Stephanie, they work well as strikers,” Parker said. “They communicate and they pass the ball.”
Meanwhile, freshman Mary Ann Kilgore — who plays center midfield — is said to be the team’s “horse,” stepping up and feeding the ball to the team’s scorers.
“She gets it up to them,” Parker said. “That’s what we need.”
Parker said the Lady Dragons also posses a strong defense, anchored by Kylee Clay and Isabella Hisky who play stopper and sweeper.
“They have us set,” he said.
He added that Sasha Parker and Anna Adams communicate very well together at left and right wing.
Jefferson’s goal this spring is to win the region title, but to do that, the Lady Dragons will have to go through Union County which is off to a 5-0-2 start. The Lady Dragons face the Lady Panthers on the road March 28. “Union is going to be a hard game for us,” Parker said. “it’s going to be tough. Of course, we’re traveling there.”
The coach also points to Rabun County, who is said to have strong midfield play.
But at the end of the regular season, the Lady Dragons want to have that no. 1 seed in hand. That’s their man focus now that the season has finally gotten underway.
“That’s their number one goal,” Parker said. “After that, we’ll just do it step-by-step.”