Lady Tide soccer team returns nine for 2007 season
The Curwensville girls soccer team returns nine letterwinners for the 2007 campaign. Front row, from left, are Lauren McKeown, Skylar Redden, Janea Stiles and Hannah Walls. In the back row are Taneil Bumbarger, Jamie Rebar, Rachel Olszewski, Marisa Lee and Sara Sidelinger. (Photo by Jim Butler)
Monday, August 20, 2007
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
CURWENSVILLE - The Curwensville girls soccer program is coming off back-to-back 15-win seasons and has gone deep in the District 9 playoffs in both campaigns.
Those teams were each built around strong senior classes that gave the underclassmen the opportunity to learn and gain valuable playing time. Lady Tide head coach Gary Thorp thinks that will help this year's team be successful as well.
"Those girls built the foundation for the program," he said. "We had several blowout wins that gave us the ability to play the younger girls and give them valuable experience. That is why we have nine letterwinners and a good nucleus of talent."
Seniors Marisa Lee, Lauren McKeown, Jamie Rebar and Skylar Redden, juniors Taneil Bumbarger, Rachel Olszewski, Janea Stiles and Hannah Walls and sophomore Sara Sidelinger make up the group of returning letterwinners, and all will play key roles for the Lady Tide in 2007, according to Thorp.
Olszewski is the starting goalkeeper after splitting time in net last season with Ronna Knepp.
"Rachel has a lot of experience in goal," Thorp said. "She should keep us in a lot of games. She is a very strong player."
Walls will anchor the midfield, while Redden will be counted on up front.
"Hannah is key in the middle," Thorp said. "Skylar did a good job supporting our forwards last year and creating opportunities for herself."
Lee and Bumbarger will both see time as midfielders, as will junior Janel Brion. Bumbarger will also get action as a striker, while Lee and Sidelinger's versatility will be useful as they will play all over the field.
Stiles will join Redden on offense, while Rebar and McKeown will be key components on defense as fullback and stopper, respectively.
"What's nice is we have seniors all over the field," Thorp said. " We have them on offense, on defense and in the midfield. And they are all three-year letterwinners."
Other girls who Thorp expects to get a lot of playing time include senior Kacie Morris, juniors Stacy Otto and Janessa Stiles and sophomore Mallory Bloom.
Morris is listed as a midfielder/striker, Otto and Bloom are wings and Stiles will share time with McKeown at stopper.
The Lady Tide will have depth this year with 25 girls on the roster vying for playing time. Thorp expects many of them to make significant contributions, as he hopes to guide them to another playoff appearance.
"We have been discussing our goals," Thorp said. "We want to make the playoffs again and I think we will. But we are going to have some strong teams to contend with like Karns City, Elk County Catholic and Brookville.
Curwensville opens its season Sept. 4 playing host to Punxsutawney.
*Marisa Lee, *Lauren McKeown, Kacie Morris, *Jamie Rebar, *Skylar Redden.
Janel Brion, *Taneil Bumbarger, *Rachel Olszewski, Stacy Otto, *Janea Stiles, Janessa Stiles, *Hannah Walls.
Mallory Bloom, Tess Bloom, Megan Hullihen, Kylie McGarry, *Sara Sidelinger.
Courtney Bachelier, Taylor Bumbarger, Brittany Carter, Kate Farneth, Sadie Kester, Megan London, Ashley Peters, Nicole Thorp.
*Denotes returning letterwinner
4-Punxsutawney; 6-DuBois Central Catholic; 8-West Branch, 11 a.m.; 10-at Elk County Catholic; 12-Kane; 17-Port Allegany; 18-at Ridgway; 22-at DuBois Central Catholic Tournament, 8 a.m.; 24-Moshannon Valley; 26-at DuBois Central Catholic; 29-at Redbank Valley, 1 p.m.
2-Elk County Catholic, 7:30 p.m.; 4-at Kane; 6-Brookville, 3 p.m.; 8-Ridgway; 10-at Port Allegany; 11-at West Branch; 15-Redbank Valley, 6 p.m.; 17-at Moshannon Valley, 6 p.m.
Games begin at 4 p.m. unless noted.