By RICH ZALUSKY
Assistant Sports Editor
GIRLS SOCCER PREVIEW CAPSULES
Coach: Mark Morello (29th year)
2016 record: 7-9-2
Key returnees: Sr. F Hayley Rich, Sr. D Hailey Tompkins, Sr. D Meg Cormier, Sr. F Amanda Sears, Sr. GK Nicole Bibeau, Sr. M Jordyn Holbrook, Sr. D Madison Murphy, Jr. M Mackenzie Cook,
Newcomers: Jr. M Avery Evans, Soph. D Eliza Olsen, Soph. M Sidney Pankowski, Soph. M Katie Weirzbicki, Soph. M Brooke Madore, Fr. D Madilyn Crawford, Fr. M Kate Anderson
Outlook: The Bulldogs return a core group of veterans and some very promising new faces. The task according to Morello will be to stay healthy and learn to play as a unit with numbers once again low this fall. The pre-season has shown a lot of promise and an excellent work ethic
Coach: Pat Risley (3rd year)
2016 record: 1-14-1
Key returnees: Sr. D Tamia McBride, Sr. GK Emily Tarstinis, Sr. M Hannah Brule, Sr. M Jennifer Perez.
Newcomers: Sr. F Sabrina Reed, Fr. F Jocelin Castro, Fr. M Rylee Valliere.
Outlook: Scoring was a challenge last fall as the Whips scored four goals with three coming in their season opener. Risley is hopeful that with improvement on offense that they can be competitive against the small schools (Division III) in the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
Coach: Nick Libera (3rd year)
2016 record: 14-2-1 (Central Connecticut Conference North-White Division champions).
Key returnees: Sr/ F Gretchen Kron, Jr. M/F Laura Jepson, Jr. M/F Rachel Purcell, Jr. D Kaleigh Bozzo, Jr. F Bridget Lalonde.
Outlook: The Sachems return five starters, including two-time Class L all-state selection Kron. Lalonde will be a key piece in the offensive attack while Jepson and Purcell will be cogs in the midfield. Bozxo anchors the back line.
Coach: Gui Estes (1st year)
2016 record: 8-8-1
Key returnees: Sr. M Kayleigh Dale, Jr. F Julia Alicea, Jr. D Allyson Hill, Sr. M Allyson Petrella, Sr. D Sara Loniewski, Sr. D Maya Rudd, Soph. M Courtney Doherty, Soph. GK Rachel Hughes.
Newcomers: Fr. M Madison Palmer, Sopoh. F Isabella Mische
Outlook: It will be a rebuilding year for the youthful Panthers. One big reason why is due to the U.S. Developmental Academy, which announced last fall it would be adding girls soccer to its system. And like the boys, if you play academy soccer â€“ an elite level program with its season running for 10 months â€” September to July â€“ youâ€™re ineligible to play high school soccer in Connecticut. And E.O. Smith lost five sophomores that were on the varsity last fall as freshman. Dale â€“ who missed the second half of her junior year due to a knee injury â€” should impact things immediately with her speed, technical skills and tactical awareness of the game. Alicea will be key on offense with support from Dale and Petrella in the midfield. Estes said, â€śthe competition will be a challenge, but with an eager, young group he thinks they will surprise many teams.
Coach: Mark Thibodeau (11th year)
2016 record: 9-8
Key returnees: Sr. D Hannah Vieira, Sr. M Vanessa Surridge, Sr. D Maria Tomas, Jr. F Kianna Stimson, Soph. M Madison Stimason, Soph. GK Brooke Benedict, Soph. M Rajchel Smardon.
Newcomers: Soph. Maggie Bolduc.
Outlook: The Pirates will see some new faces on the schedule as they are in the first-year of competition in the (CRAL) Capital Region Athletic League.
Note: Coventry and Windham Tech did not return information to the Chronicle.