OK Underdogs: Soccer coach says role can change with hard work
Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022
By Brian Pitts
Yes, the Davie varsity girls soccer team has suffered 12 straight losing seasons. Yes, the War Eagles have finished 5th or lower in the conference for 15 consecutive seasons. Yes, Corbin Kopetzky is the fourth coach in six years.
But there’s reason to believe in the 2022 War Eagles. They only lost three seniors from last year. The top three scorers are back. And Kopetzky has a good blend of experience and young talent.
“I like being the underdog,” Kopetzky said. “You weren’t going to outwork me as a player, I’m not going to get outworked as a coach and we’re not going to get outworked as a team. We’re going to shock some people. I’ve walked into a very blessed situation. They’re making it very easy walking into my first head coaching role.”
Kopetzky has three seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and four freshmen. He’s working hard to mold them into a cohesive unit.
“It’s not easy making a coaching change,” he said. “But there are 18 on varsity and every single one of them have bought in. They all know their roles. They work hard every day and they know my expectations.”
The captains are senior Katie Shupe and junior Emily Garner.
“They’re going to help out a lot leadership-wise,” he said. “From the seniors to the freshmen, they’re all natural leaders. We just have a really good group.”
Junior Lexi Kulis (six goals last year), Shupe (four) and junior Rebecca Devericks (three) were the top three scorers in 2021, and two of them have two seasons ahead of them.
“Between Lexi and Katie, we’re going to get a lot in the back of the net,” he said. “We also have Rebecca, who is a good scoring option for us.”
Another good thing is Davie has an experienced goalie in junior Avery Yount.
“I got to know her very well last year, and I’m very high on her as a keeper,” Kopetzky said. “She works hard and will do everything I ask.”
While Kopetzky cited Shupe, Christine Cao and Eryn smith as “strong senior leaders,” he has a promising group of freshmen in Jaden Sink, Sarah Andrade, Cat Rosser and Julia Hines.
“Jaden will be big-time for us,” he said. “(Center back) is not the easiest spot on the field, but I think she’ll transition to that pretty well. She is a skilled player.
“We’ll build around some more (freshmen). Cat will get some quality minutes (as a midfielder). I really see Sarah excelling this year (at forward). Julia will split time between JV and varsity and she’ll help us out a lot, too.”
• Jim Beck and Abdenabi Senbel coached Davie in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Nathan Stephens was the coach the past three years.
• Kopetzky, 23, graduated from Davie in 2016. He was a four-year soccer player for the War Eagles, and he wrestled for Buddy Lowery for three years.
• Last year the War Eagles went 5-7 and finished fifth out of six in the Central Piedmont Conference. Reagan (9-0-1), West Forsyth (6-1-3), East Forsyth (5-4-1) and Reynolds (4-5-1) finished ahead of Davie (3-7).
• Davie also has a new JV coach in Megan Baker, 37. She was a soccer player at rival West Forsyth, where she graduated in 2002. “She was actually my mentor teacher last year in my first year,” Kopetzky said. “We work well together. She comes in with extensive soccer knowledge.”
• The roster includes juniors Mya McGowan and Riley Almond and sophomores Tru Koren, Kim Torres, Skylar Link, Holt Carter and Sophia Heagle. … Collin Ferebee is an assistant coach.