Young, unranked Lee County remains undefeated; Harrison still rolling
Lee County girls soccer coach Dave Baltenberger says he can’t predict how his team will fare in the playoffs, but he sure must be enjoying the regular season.
The unranked Trojans improved to 14-0 Thursday with a 6-0 victory against Lowndes. Lee County is the first-place team in Region 1-AAAAAA and has outscored its opponents 76-4. And that is with a roster that includes three freshmen, seven sophomores, four juniors and just two seniors.
The defense is led by senior goalkeeper Cassidy Norman, a Georgia Military College signee. But she has a lot of help from her young teammates.
“Our defense has been doing a great job,” Baltenberger said. “It is a group of younger players that includes freshman Madison Carr, sophomores Carson Griffin, Sophie Tondera and Annah Norman along with junior Rebecca McDaniel and only one senior, Morgan Wadkins.”
On offense, the Trojans get contributions from all parts of the roster. Against Lowndes, Lee County got goals from Griffin, Kaitlyn Louthan, Hannah Schroeder and freshmen Brittany Benner and Anna Flannery.
Baltenberger credited sophomore Hannah Schroeder and junior Mackenzie Taylor with holding the middle of the field and setting up the offense.
“We don’t have a true all-star on offense,” Baltenberger said. “Every game, different players score and we spread it through the entire lineup. Everyone plays and everyone contributes. I think that is the best thing about this team is that they play as a team. We have had players get hurt all season and others just step up and play.”
Lee County is off this week for Spring Break and will return to action on April 11 against Deerfield-Windsor, a GISA school that lost to the Trojans 1-0 on Feb. 28. The playoffs begin April 27. Lee County was knocked out of the postseason in the second round of the highest classification by the eventual state champions each of the past two seasons.
“I know we will play as a team and give it our best effort,” Baltenberger said.
*Hoyas keep rolling: Harrison, which won state championships in 2011 and 2014 in the highest classification, continues to thrive in its first season since moving down to the second-highest class. The Hoyas hold the No. 1 ranking in AAAAAA and lead Region 6-AAAAAA going into the final two weeks of the regular season. Harrison picked up a big victory Friday when it beat Allatoona 7-0 behind three goals from Izzy Heckman and one each by Kenzie Bonham, Pace Stephenson, Avery Visage and Brittany Colangelo. The loss dropped Allatoona, a state champion in 2012, into fourth place in the region. Harrison faces Centennial next Tuesday and then closes the region portion of its schedule at Sequoyah on April 14 in a game that could determine regular-season champion.