Main Street Preps Aug 12, 2019
School is back in session, meaning the girls soccer teams in Robertson County are prepping for the fall season.
All five of the squads open their campaigns the week of Aug. 19. Breakdowns of each team in our coverage area are below (2018 records are in parentheses):
White House Heritage (11-7-1)
The Lady Patriots boast the most experienced team in the area and could be primed for a breakout season. White House Heritage did not lose a single senior from last year’s team.
“This is the most talented (girls soccer) team White House Heritage has ever had,” coach Rett Roach said. “But talent doesn’t always win games, so it’s about putting the right people in the right positions to be successful.”
The road to the AA state tournament often runs through rival White House, which is a problem since the Lady Patriots are 0-18-2 all-time against the Lady Blue Devils.
“We never beat White House,” Roach said. “Everybody is like, ‘I feel like you’re the frontrunner this year.’ How can you be the frontrunner when you’ve never beaten a team in your district?”
This year’s White House Heritage team may have the talent to finally get over the White House roadblock. It all starts with senior captain Eimy Esparza, who plays center midfield and centre-back.
“She’s a natural leader through the way she plays,” Roach said. “She never takes off days. She embodies what it means to be a teammate.”
Along with Esparaza, the Lady Patriots have four other high-impact seniors. Alex Green, last year’s leading scorer, will again play a big role on offense. Wing Abby Tolbert is the team’s fastest player, according to Roach. And former wing Mally Horn has moved to defense, where she has already performed well in the preseason.
Rounding out the senior class is goalkeeper Sadie Short. The Lady Patriots only allowed 34 goals in 19 games last year, and Roach said Short made drastic improvements this offseason.
Roach said he believes the difference with this team is that they are friends off the field, too.
“Our team’s strength is their togetherness,” Roach said. “I feel like I used to have to beg teammates to do things outside of soccer together. But they always take the initiative (now). They really like each other outside of soccer.”
Heritage will open its season at the Smokey Mountain Cup in Gatlinburg Aug. 24-25.
Read the rest of the article by Russell Vannozzi: