ST. MARYS — Year No. 2 is shaping up to be a better one — at least on paper — for second-year head coach Ken Vogt. Jr. and the Elk County Catholic girls soccer team.
This time last year, Vogt had just taken over a Lady Crusader program that had lost six players to graduation and featured a roster with no seniors and 20 underclassmen.
The new coach and is young team battled through some expected ups and downs and finished the regular season with a 9-8 record, earning the No. 7 seed for District 9 Class A playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Lady Crusaders, that meant a quarterfinal showdown with second-seeded Brockway — a game the Lady Rovers won 7-2. Brockway went on to win the district title.
Fast forward a year, and Vogt now has a much more seasoned team led by seven seniors — Mackenzie Cashmer, Catherine Cerrone, Morgan Dinsmore, Bethany Feldbauer, Hannah Lenze, Maddie Sorg and McKayla Wilson — all of whom are returning letterwinners.
The team also features five juniors in Shannon Clancy, Michelle Gerber, Maddie Kear, Rena Messineo, and Sady Van Alstine. All five were on last year’s squad and gives Vogt a strong group of upperclassmen to help work with the three sophomores and four freshmen who round out the squad.
All three sophomores — Olivia Sorg, Chelsea Total, Emily Wolfe — were on the varsity roster a season ago, meaning the only knew players to team are its four freshmen.
“Our goal this year is just to finish better than we did last year,” said Vogt. “We were an even .500 last year at 9-9, so we hope to end the season with a winning record. As the coach, I am excited to see how much this team has grown since last season.
“Last year, we did not have any senior leadership because we didn’t have any seniors. This year we have seven girls returning as seniors, and they are all letterwinners from last season. We went from a really young team last year to all of a sudden a very old team who will be losing a big core group of girls.
“I believe we will be a little bit more competitive this year just because of the experience they had last year playing against a tough conference with (teams like) DCC and Brockway.”
Elk County, which opened its season Friday at DuBois Central Catholic, hosts Curwensville today.
Seniors: Mackenzie Cashmer, Catherine Cerrone, Morgan Dinsmore, Bethany Feldbauer, Hannah Lenze, Maddie Sorg, McKayla Wilson. Juniors: Shannon Clancy, Michelle Gerber, Maddie Kear, Rena Messineo, Sady Van Alstine. Sophomores:Olivia Sorg, Chelsea Total, Emily Wolfe. Freshmen: Gina Carnovale, Mary Cerroni, Vivian Mader, Kara VanEerden.