FLS Varsity brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school sports.
GIRLS SOCCER NOTEPAD: Berry wowed by his roster’s depth
Dennis Berry has had some powerful teams and elite players in his time as Courtland’s girls soccer coach.
So it’s quite a statement when he says this year’s Cougars team is the best he’s had from top to bottom.
“That’s a pretty bold statement, actually, because I’ve had some pretty good teams at Courtland, not to mention some of the best players in the area with Kara Blosser coming from here and Lauren McCoy,” Berry said.
“But I just think top to bottom position-wise, we pretty much have all the bases covered and we’re pretty well represented at each position with some very high quality players.”
The Cougars are off to a great start this season, with convincing shutout victories over Eastern View (8–0) and Liberty (7–0). They are scheduled to visit King George tonight.
Courtland, which returned eight starters from last year’s district and region championship-winning squad, hasn’t lacked for firepower so far this season, and its defense has been dominant.
Forwards Marybeth McBroom and Paige Robertson lead the team with five goals apiece. Midfielder Emily Caporali has three tallies, and Kayla and Kyra Locklear have scored goals as well.
Syd Wallace, Halle Parker and Haley Winn, as well as goalkeeper Amanda Depalma, have helped ignite the defense.
“Yeah, we’re doing really well,” Berry said. “I was actually surprised because of the lack of field time we had over this first part of the season because of the weather. Everybody pretty much has had that problem.
“I was pleasantly surprised with them coming out and doing pretty much what we’ve asked them to do. They’re working the ball around real nice and we’re getting some quality shots off and capitalizing on mistakes and keeping them out of the net.”
The Cougars, who went 19–2–1 last season, have used last year’s 3–1 Group AA state quarterfinal loss to eventual state champion Woodgrove as motivation this season. Their goal is to get back to the state playoffs and finish this season with a championship.
“They don’t need me telling them or reminding them what the final score was last year and how far we’ve gotten,” Berry said. “They know where they’ve been, and they’re excited about this season.”