The Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs soccer team begins district play on Tuesday against Harker Heights.
“We’re 4-and-4 right now and we’re steadily improving,” said Cove head coach Hagen Streckel. “Our performance level has improved since the beginning of this season.”
The Lady Bulldawgs district-opening contest is on the road.
“Harker Heights will be very fast, so we’ll need to neutralize their speed,” Streckel said. “I do feel we’re getting into better shape and our passing skills, overall, have improved.”
The top Cove passer is senior midfielder Shelbie Letzer.
“On half of our goals, it’s Shelbie who has the assist,” Streckel said. “She is a very skilled passer. Plus, she also controls our midfield.”
Letzer’s favorite target so far is sophomore forward Ali McBride.
“Shelbie and Ali have become a good connection,” Streckel said. “They work combos very well.”
Senior Kristin McDonald is in charge of the defense.
“Kristin takes very good control in her role as our central defender,” Streckel said.
“So far, I think we’ve done a great job as a team,” McDonald said. “Socially, our team has improved, too; we’re all getting along great.”
As for her own on-the-field role, McDonald said, “Because we play a dimaond, I’m the last defender, more of a sweeper. It’s my job to control the flow of play as much as possible.”
Junior Alex Johnson is Cove’s keeper.
“Alex has been playing very, very well this year,” Streckel said. “And we expect her to continue to be successful.”
“Alex has saved our butts a lot,” McDonald said. “She’s not afraid to dive, she’s not afraid to come out, she’s not afraid to tackle. She’s good at defending high balls and good at defending low balls. There’s nothing more we can ask of her.”
“Alex has been awesome,” she said. “She’s one of the best goalies around, one of the best I’ve ever seen.”
As for the team’s potential, Letzer said, “Because this is the closest-knit team we’ve ever had, if we play up to our potential, we’ll get a top seed in the playoffs. Honestly, I can’t wait for the regular season to start against Heights on Tuesday because I think we’re about to have a great year.”