By Jeff Odom
The Carrollwood Day School (CDS) girls soccer team is in rebuilding mode after losing seven seniors, including leading scorer Taylor Tippet.
The Patriots, who had their playoff hopes dashed in the Class 1A-District 7 semifinals by Bishop McLaughlin last season, are looking toward their underclassmen to fill the space left behind by last year’s graduating class.
“It is a tough void to fill,” said CDS coach Donna Holyman. “We do have three returning midfielders with experience, which is great. Once we have the entire team together, we will begin to figure out positions and see where we are at.”
Holyman, who has worked with the Patriots on a part-time basis this offseason because she is on maternity leave, added that seven of her 17 players start the season late because they were competing in fall sports.
Junior defender Alex Schweitzer, who is being recruited by Princeton and Florida Gulf Coast universities, said Holyman has done a great job putting players in the right positions.
“It’s a big loss losing Taylor and our complete backline, but we have a bunch of great freshmen that are building up what they left behind,” said Schweitzer, who scored 13 goals last year. “They’re all learning their positions and coach has been really vocal, helping everyone out.”
Holyman said their main goal is to beat the Hurricanes and get to the district championship game for the first time in program history.
“I think the competition every year is so different with high school teams because you have one or two players that can make a huge impact,” Holyman said. “I believe (Bishop McLaughlin) graduated Spencer (Valdespino) and she was definitely an impact player. I would like to see us come out and create scoring opportunities while shutting down their chances on goals.”
CDS opens the season at Academy at the Lakes, which plays its games at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. The 1A-7 tournament is at Calvary Christian Jan. 15 to 18, with the final Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
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