Jonathan Alder girls soccer coach Barb Skidmore isn’t holding back when it comes to telling people how good she thinks her Lady Pioneers could be this season.
“I think this team will be really strong, I have high hopes that we’ll have a good regular season and make a run in the postseason,” the coach said. “I’ve been very fortunate, everyone on the team has had a positive attitude.”
Alder enters this fall with experienced players and is determined to get beyond the D-II district semifinal hurdle which has tripped up the program a lot in recent years. The Pioneers were 9-9 a season ago and advanced to a D-II district semifinal where they fell 2-1 to St. Francis DeSales.
The Pioneers have had their season end at the district semifinal level in five of the last six years. Skidmore, who is about to start her second season at Alder, knows that the disappointment of last season and perhaps even the years prior are driving her players this time around.
“You have to learn from everything that happens,” she said. “I think we’ll come out a stronger team after how things ended last year. It’s never easy getting a new coach and learning a new system. I think the girls are a lot more comfortable now.”
The Pioneers, a speedy team that lacks a whole lot of size, will rely on a trio of players to lead this way.
Tracy Burkholder will carry the load on the defenisve end of the field, talented striker Jordi Dye will be the go-to option for scoring goals and Alivia Milesky, a skilled midfielder with a lethal combo of solid defensive skills and an ability to put the ball in the net will tie the two ends together.
“It’s a major advantage having those three,” Skidmore said. “The other players trust them and follow their lead. They know that they’re playing for the team.”
When asked about any concerns she may have about the upcoming season, the coach hesitated, thought for a second and admitted that she doesn’t really have any and is looking forward to the season.”
“Everyone is playing really well right now,” Skidmore said. “We’re off to a good start, but the goal for these girls is to get to the district final.”
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.