By: Lee Ramsey
The Seymour Lady Eagle soccer season is underway but is off to a shaky start.
After losing their home opener to Powell 1-0, the Lady Eagles went 1-3 in the Sevier County Invitational losing to Gatlinburg-Pittman 4-2, Sullivan South 2-1 and Dobyns-Bennett 3-1. They defeated William Blount 4-2.
After so many injuries last year one would think this year would be different, but so far that is not the case.
The Lady Eagles starting goal keeper, junior Nikki Weismann is out with a knee injury. The backup didn’t play this year, wanting to concentrate on basketball. That only leaves field players to replace her. A few of them could do the job but they are needed in the field positions.
Also out are senior Ashley Solomon, outstanding freshman Brianna Stopelbein and senior Sara Dean will be out for a month after knee surgery.
Although still not a deep team, the Lady Eagles are deeper than last season according to Seymour Head Soccer Coach Drew Payne. If it weren’t for injuries the season outlook would be very good with 6 seniors who start. The Lady Eagles are a very experienced team losing only one starter from last year.
In the Powell game at Seymour, the Lady Eagles and Lady Panthers had a hard time generating much of any offense. Powell scored about one minute into the second half. The shot count was fairly equal on both sides with neither team getting very many good shots.
In the Sevier County Tournament G–P was the dominant team along with Dobyns-Bennett. In the loss to G-P, sophomore Sarah Brewer scored on a penalty kick and sophomore Courtney Dye scored on an assist from senior Sara Dean.
Seymour lost another close one to Sullivan South 2-1. The score was 1-0 Sullivan South at the half. Brewer tied the game for the Lady Eagles the second half with a penalty kick. Sullivan South then scored with 10 minutes remaining to seal the win.
The loss to Dobyns Bennett 3-1 was tough as the Lady Eagles were tied at the half 0-0. Courtney Dyer scored the only goal for Seymour as the Lady Eagles seemed to run out of gas as the game wore on.
Seymour’s only win was over William Blount 4-2. The Govs weren’t quite the competition as the other three schools. Scoring was equal among four Lady Eagles. Brewer scored off an assist by senior Lauren Aucoin; Dyer scored off another assist by Aucoin; Kayla Heyward scored off an assist from senior Kristie Bridges; and Dean scored the fourth goal unassisted.
“I hope we can overcome our injury situation,” said Coach Payne. “We are deeper than last year and the girls have been very positive, pulling together while knowing there are high expectations.
“It would be easy for them to have mental breakdowns but they haven’t. They’ve responded well. They continue to play hard.
“We’ve got to keep pushing and trying and it will pay off in the end.”
When asked how the team would perform at full strength Payne responded, “If we are healthy, there is no reason we shouldn’t compete for the district championship. It will be up and down during the season. Where we are at the end will be what matters.”
According to Payne, the two district favorites will be South-Doyle and Morristown West. Next up for the Lady Eagles will be Gatlinburg-Pittman at Seymour.
Lady Eagles Soccer Begins
By: Lee Ramsey