Soccer coach confident

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Davie varsity girls soccer team won four games in 2012, five in 2013 and seven in 2014. Fourth-year coach Kerstin Steinour is confident she’s got the players to take the next step forward in 2015.

The War Eagles are desperate for a winning season. The past five have ended with losing marks. The 2014 team – which went 7-11-1 overall and 3-8-1 in the Central Piedmont Conference to finish sixth out of seven teams – dropped six of the final seven games.

“We’re going to have a great team this year,” Steinour said. “We’re very strong. Even with only two days of practice in two weeks (due to inclement weather), I’m very confident about our team.”

Steinour said West Forsyth is again the favorite. Although the first conference title ever is likely out of the question, she believes this could be the year Davie challenges for second.

“We’ve got a large number of returners who have been here since their freshman year,” she said. “I think we’re going to be strong and can beat last year’s (win total). West Forsyth is always the favorite. I think there’s going to be about four of us who are going to be neck and neck.”

The varsity roster includes seniors Mia Byers, Payton Beaty, Brooke Hedgspeth and Lindsey Stroupe; juniors Emily Muchukot, Allie Carter, Caroline Davis, Katelyn Hernandez, Claire Devereaux and Mary Tellup; and sophomores Annie Kinder, Ali Guttenburg and Riley Ball.

Rebekah Brock and Kenneth Ham are Steinour’s assistant coaches.

The headliner is Hedgspeth, a forward who enters her senior year with 34 career goals. Last year she amassed 25 goals and 15 assists to score the most goals in 11 years. She was three from the single-season record. She recently signed with Division-II Belmont Abbey, where former War Eagle Laura Shelton will be a senior next fall.

“She has definitely stepped up her leadership role,” Steinour said. “She’s a lot more vocal than she has been in the past. She’s smart on the field.”

Hernandez is a core player as a defensive center midfielder. She’s a proven player, scoring seven goals in 2013 and eight in 2014.

“She keeps the middle in check,” she said. “She will help out offensively, setting up goals as well as helping out our defense. She’s a strong force in the middle.”

Another vital cog is Devereaux, a forward who scored four goals in 2013 and 11 in 2014. “I think she’s gotten stronger from playing indoor (soccer),” she said.

Ham, the head coach for the Davie boys, is beginning his second year as the junior varsity coach.

The JV team consists of juniors Ana Almazon, Makayla Cody, Paige Hammond and Sarah Buie; sophomores Brooke Summers, Elaina Burr, Gracie Clark, Ze’mora Cockerham and Taylor Hurst; and freshmen Briana McGowan, Cindy Calix, MaKenna Carden, Kam Parks, Kassidie McDaniel, Elvia Lascano and Ashton Chaffin.