Goals are a crucial part of any soccer season, and the Chickasha girls will set about replacing 32 of them when they begin their season next week.
The exit of Hannah Elrod (20 goals) and Kelsey Taylor (12 goals) from the Lady Chicks program as seniors last year means head coach Bethany Goble's offseason and preseason job is to drum up a way to retain that attacking power under some slightly different conditions. Chickasha competes at the Class 4A level in soccer this year, presenting them with new opponents like Bridge Creek and Newcastle.
"We're in the toughest district," Goble said. "We've got some tough teams to be facing. But, [the players] come to compete."
By all accounts except mother nature's, Chickasha should already be competing. The recent winter weather postponed their season opener against Shawnee last Tuesday to this Monday.
When they finally do take to the pitch, Goble is expecting a fit, attack-minded team to take on each game as an efficient pocket watch: each part moving in it's assigned way to keep everything smooth and simple.
"We're all about fitness," she said. "We'll do technical, spread them out, work through the middle; but we literally play until the final whistle. We kill the teams with our shape. That's my style."
This way took Chickasha to the second round of the state tournament last season, and Goble expects the team to achieve those heights again. Senior Amanda Black, whose older sister Casey started in goal for the Chicks last year, will help run things from the back as the team's defensive midfielder. She'll serve as one of the team's pivot points, where opposing attacks end and the Chickasha offense begins.
"I try to be a good leader on the field and in the locker room," Black said. "Now that we're in 4A, it's like a fresh start for us. We just don't need to get big heads and continue to go in strong."