By John Blake, Sun News | Thursday, August 16, 2012, 12:22 PM | Cleveland.com
His team may be young, but Holy Name head girls soccer coach Brian Michelson thinks his squad has plenty of talent to build on last year’s district semifinal appearance.
Gone from the team are six departing seniors, four of whom are playing at the next level. Haleigh Shingary, Erin O’Toole and Julia Balodissigned with Cleveland State University and Nicole Miranda is competing at Brevard College (N.C.).
Hoping to fill those voids are a few seniors and a load of underclassmen with a high ceiling.
“It’s looking very promising,” Michelson said. “Once we figure out the players’ roles, then we can really take off.”
The Green Wave just wrapped up a scrimmage in Dayton over the weekend as well as a strong offseason. Michelson said his players are some of most driven he’s been around.
“The girls are really committed this year to succeed,” he said. “We have an offseason weight training program, and 20 of the 32 girls in the program participated in it and did an outstanding job.”
Holy Name features a roster of just two seniors and five juniors, with the rest including a large crop of freshmen and sophomores.
Among those expected to make a significant impact this fall are senior center back Nicole Weigand; juniors Reese Grzybowski and defender Kori Miller; and sophomores Caroline Dreher (midfielder), Peyton Davis and Toni Dixon.
One newcomer Michelson is really excited about is freshman Sarah Krause.
“She has the potential to be one of the top players in the area,” he said. “I haven’t seen her play with this kind of potential in a long time. She’s a very good player and is really going to help out our program.”
Ashley Rings is another freshman looking to make her mark at the varsity level.
Alexia Keller and Jackie Corrigan, coming up from the JV level, are slated to see time in the starting lineup and have made vast improvements, according to Michelson.
“They’ve really worked hard in the offseason to improve their game,” he said.
One concern the Holy Name coach has is with the team’s depth.
“We’re not very deep, but I think we’re going to be pretty solid,” he said. “We can’t afford many injuries. If we’re on, we’re going to be OK. If we’re not, our youth is going to show and that’s going to be a problem. We have to make sure we work through that.”
However, Michelson says the players are very close and the chemistry with this year’s team is comparable to the 2006 Green Wave team which won the Division II state championship.
“They were very close and worked well together and there were really no egos,” he said. “This one has the same feel. They just work and push each other. It’s very much team-oriented this year.”
Holy Name opens the season Aug. 20 at Brecksville.