WEST LAFAYETTE --Coming off the best season in school history, the Ridgewood High Lady Generals soccer team are looking to keep the momentum going this year.
The Lady Generals posted a 10-4-2 record last year and will need to replace seven starters lost to graduation, including Kalynn Bluck who was an all-Eastern District first team performer last season. Bluck was the team's leading scorer last year with 16 goals and seven assists, and finished her RHS career with numerous school records. Bluck holds the points in career (95), goals career (41), goals in a season (16) and points in a season (39) school records at Ridgewood.
Also lost to graduation is Mackenzie Bates (14 goals, 6 assists), who holds the program's career assist mark with 14, along with starters Taylor Zinkon, Stormie Curry, Anna Powell, Maddy Jones and Krista Thomason.
Entering his fifth season, head coach Casey Claxon has complied a 31-19-13 career wins mark. Judd Bone will serve as Claxon's assistant coach this season.
"We have several players who are going to get an opportunity to earn a spot in the starting lineup this year," Claxon said. "With losing seven starters to graduation from last year, it is certainly wide-open this year. Practices have been real competitive and it's been fun coaching this group."
Ridgewood returns a total of six letterwinners and four starters, led by senior goalkeeper Sam Moore who was recognized with all-Eastern District first team honors last year. Moore recorded five shutouts a tear ago and allowed an average of 1.13 goals per game.
"Sam will once again start in goal for us," Claxon said, "but I also expect her to see some time on the field as offensive threat."
Backing up Moore in goal will be sophomore Alexis Zimmerman.
Other returning starters include senior Kaley Harrison (forward), junior Winter Preston (defender) and junior Hollie Schwab (defender).
Rounding out the letterwinners back for another season are junior Brianna Grace (defender) and sophomore Kristin Milligan (forward).
"Winter and Hollie are back and will lead our defense this year," Claxon said. "They will be joined by a pair of juniors in Natasha (Helmick) and Brianna in the back of our defense."
The Lady Generals will feature an entirely new midfield, anchored by first-year players junior Baylee Haynes and senior Erica Olinger.
Also competing for starting positions in the midfield are juniors Kimi Pepping, McKayla Zimmerman and Kyra Gephart; sophomores Tara Milligan and Kristin Milligan; and freshmen Emily Kobel and Colleen Schwartz.
Harrison will start up front, while competing for the other spot a forward are senior Amanda Davis, senior Joanna Eberwine and freshmen Breann Asbury and Mallory Simmons.
Rounding out the Lady Generals' roster are sophomore Tayna Watson (midfielder); juniors Daneyliz Rodriguez (midfielder), Victoria Share (midfielder) and Lori Hart (forward); and freshmen Megan Cox (midfielder) and Alyssa Grove (midfielder).
"We'll definitely be leaning a lot on our defense at the beginning of the season," Claxon explained. "We return a lot of experience back there with Sam, Winter and Hollie. We're counting on them to keep us in a lot of games."