Lady Spartans don’t believe youth will hinder sucess
East Ascension failed to make the regional round of the postseason of the first time in four years a season ago but despite losing 10 seniors the Lady Spartans’ goal of making it back into the playoffs for the eighth straight time has not diminished.
The Lady Spartans finished in a tie with St. Amant for second place in District 6-I play with a 7-3 record and were 13-7-2 overall after falling to Comeaux in the first round 4-2 on penalty kicks.
“We want to compete and we want to get back into the playoffs,” East Ascension head coach Christopher Goodall said. “This is our third year back in the 5A ranks and I don’t think we can have that excuse anymore. The school is big enough now. We are used to the district and we are used to playing on the turf.”
East Ascension has big shoes to fill with the departure of district Defensive MVP, Alacey Monconduit, first-team all-district selections, Claudia Flores and Arienne Ferchaud and second-team picks Ashley Hunsberger and Brooke Lambert, all to graduation.
The Lady Spartans do return first-teamer, senior Caitlin Roddy, who had two goals and had three assists as the central defender, along with second-team members Alyssa LeBlanc, Kristin Simoneaux and Marissa Sanchez.
“Our defense is where we have had to fill the most gaps,” Goodall said. “We were able to play with just three in the back defensively last year and we may have to review that this year. We are obviously looking for more production in the midfield from some girls with a lot of experience.”
Janel Boylan joins LeBlanc and Simoneaux in the midfield, while Bianca Joyeaux will join Roddy in the back. Sanchez is met by Haley Gautreau and Rebecca Austin up front, while Jennifer Flores and Jordan Guidry are wide.
Chelsea Griggs and Ashley Humphrey will look to replace Ferchaud in the goal.
“The engine is going to be in the middle of the field,” Goodall said. “Physically, we are in very good shape and I think that will serve us well. We are pretty speedy up top and we haven’t always had a huge amount of speed. If there is a weakness, it is youth. We have no problem mixing freshmen in the rotation and you have to do that if you want to succeed.”
East Ascension’s non-district schedule includes Catholic-PC, Zachary, Episcopal, St. Michael and?St. Joseph along with the St. Amant tournament.
“It is a long hard road,” Goodall said. “We tried to have a mixture of games to gain confidence and games where we have to really compete hard and play the chasing game where we are the underdog.”
“Dutchtown is definitely the front runner in district and I think in turn, that is going to make us better by playing them. They are the barometer for success and a quality outfit but everyone else is still very good. You can’t take anything for granted. Leadership from the older girls will be key along with familiarizing the younger girls with the pace of the game.”