By Steve Keenan
Under new coach Dave Pollard, the Oak Hill High girls got off to a 2-0 start on the soccer pitch going into this week’s action.
The Red Devils posted a 3-2 verdict over visiting Bluefield Thursday.
“Any time you’ve got a new coach and a new system, you’ve got a learning curve,” said Pollard, who had previous head coaching stints at Midland Trail (boys, two years), MSU Academy (co-ed, three years) and Nuttall-Ansted Middle (one year). “While waiting to get into the meat of a Class AAA schedule) I’m pleased.
“We’re attacking the goal. We’ve still got some things we need to work on.”
“I’m excited to be teaming with Stan Wriston as my assistant coach,” continued Pollard. “His long-term association with the rec league brings us the contacts we need to take a long-term approach toward building the Oak Hill program.
“We want to make sure that all girls coming up through the rec system have the opportunity to play competitive travel and to have coaches who share our vision. To do that we have to build pride and excitement within our own program and we are going to play an exciting attacking style.
“With that said, there will be bumps in the road because the girls are learning an entirely new style and until they feel comfortable in that system and learn their field coverage responsibilities it will expose some weaknesses.”
The Oak Hill roster boasts 20 players, two of whom — forward Haley McDowell and defender Erin Heeter — are seniors.
The junior goalie is Brianna Ovalle, and other top juniors are midfielder Mary Kate Rosiek and defender Lindsey Jordan.
Sophomores who will have to contribute include Hayleigh Tredway, Kayla Louisos and Rachel White in the midfield.
Sophomore midfielder Brenna Law, junior midfielder Samantha Patrick, junior defender Chloe Gillespie and sophomore midfielder Lainey Large should also receive significant playing time.
According to Pollard, three freshmen — Julia Ivey and Miranda Jones on defense and Lilly Hines in the midfield — will get significant playing time,
Rounding out the squad and vying for playing time are sophomore defender Alise Atha, sophomore forward Samantha Burdette, junior defender Samantha Crist, sophomore defender Kelsey Peyatt and sophomore midfielder Kaela Burgess.
Oak Hill and Midland Trail will square off at 6 p.m. tonight in Oak Hill.
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