The Lady Cats’ soccer team had their first day of practice for this season Monday (November 27). Long time Lady Cats Assistant Coach Joel Bailey is now head coach replacing Jesus DeLeon, who went to Texas High. Coach Bailey also served as interim head coach in 2009 after the resignation of Martin Bryant. Coach Bailey says he doesn’t plan a whole lot of changes. He admits he may do some tinkering.
Coach Bailey says he liked what he saw from his Lady Cats Monday. He says he had a great turnout and the girls worked hard. Coach Bailey says he was impressed with their work rate, their intensity level, their skill level and their soccer IQ. He experts to have 19 or 20 players on the varsity. Coach Bailey says the puzzle pieces are there and he just needs to see how they fit best. Coach Bailey says he has a good group of seniors and he adds most of them have been on the varsity since they were freshmen.
Coach Bailey says senior forward Mileena Zirretta has that rare combination of speed and skill. He says he may move senior forward Makenna Kager to the midfield for better ball control. Coach Bailey says senior forward and captain Gracie Boyer may also be used in the midfield. The Lady Cats other captain is senior defender Jo McMillan. Coach Bailey says he can also count on senior midfielder Taylor Robinson. He says he is expecting an increased role for senior defender Erika Lara. Move in Jessica Rocca is also expected to help the Lady Cats this season.
Coach Bailey will be assisted by Ross Hicks, who was a Wildcats assistant coach last year. Coach Bailey says he liked how Coach DeLeon gave him a lot of freedom to prepare JV players for the varsity and he expects to give Coach Hicks the same freedom. Coach Bailey says he wants his Lady Cats to be mentally strong, to be better at possessing the ball in the midfield and to be able to speed up or slow down the game as needed. He notes the teams first scrimmage is just a month away. They will scrimmage Paris at Gerald Prim Stadium on December 28. The Lady Cats will open the season against Balch Springs Christian Academy in a Terrell tournament on January 4.