Bombers mesh new and old into cohesive unit

Lake Placid girls soccer (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid girls soccer team will field a mix of upperclassmen and newcomers, and will compete with a new head coach at the helm.

Brenden Gotham takes over the reins from long-time head coach Heather Brewer, who is on maternity leave. Gotham will lead a Blue Bombers squad of 22 strong that ranges from freshmen to seniors, and it’s a group he expects to be a competitive force in the Northern Soccer League Division II race.

“I am very excited about our chances to be competitive this season,” Gotham said. “Unfortunately, coach Brewer cannot coach this year, but I will do my best to keep her team and the momentum she has built moving forward.”

Lake Placid will be anchored in nets by senior Shelby Jewtraw, who starts at keeper for the third season. She is one of just five seniors on a young team. Forward Morin Bissonette and defenders Camille Craig, Ashley Strack and Jenn Godin are Lake Placid’s other seniors.

Craig provides the Blue Bombers’ defense with toughness at the sweeper position, She’ll be joined on the back line with varsity newcomers Rylee Preston and Shannon Bentley, as well as Strack and Godin.

A strength of Lake Placid should be at midfield, with juniors MacKenzie Kondrat and Lindsey Rath leading the way. Kondrat returns after being named a first-team Division II midfielder in 2016. Rath is back as a third-year starter.

Junior Meghan Byrne also provides Lake Placid with some scoring punch and will line up at either midfield or forward. Byrne was a second-team Division II selection as a sophomore. She netted four goals and recorded two assists in 2016.

“MacKenzie Kondrat will be such a strong presence in the midfield and is the glue that keeps us together this year,” Gotham said.

Two young players, sophomore Bea Hollander and freshman Lydia Bullock, are expected to be two of Lake Placid’s top scoring threats on the front line.

One reason there are so many young players in the lineup this season is Lake Placid is not fielding a junior varsity squad this fall. But Gotham said he really likes what he has seen in the early going from that group.

“The talent in the freshmen and sophomores is really promising,” he said.