Lumberjacks build on last year’s victories

Tupper Lake girls soccer (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

TUPPER LAKE — With several wins under its belt last year, the Tupper Lake girls soccer team is looking to bring that momentum into the season this year.

After a drought of several winless seasons, the Tupper Lake girls soccer program finally started to find the back of the net last season. And first-year head coach Zack Arthur, who was an assistant coach last season, thinks his relatively young team can continue to improve now that the players have had a taste of winning.

“We have a lot of the same players, (but) we lost a lot of the seniors,” Arthur said. “But a lot of our core team is still here, so we’re going to keep building with them. We’re working on our fitness primarily at this point early in the season because we know we’ve got the skills already sort of in the bag.”

Arthur said the team lost seven players to graduation, and is now sporting just two seniors. But with no junior varsity program, the eight juniors and nine sophomores on the team have already logged plenty of varsity play.

Arthur said his two seniors have stepped in to fill the gap of the players who graduated in the spring.

“Keira (Methot) and Alexis (Degrace) have absolutely stepped up,” he said. “They lead the warm-ups everyday. They are very good about being here on time and making sure everyone else is. They (know) the right way to be a captain where they pick up the balls instead of making the younger kids do it. They lead by example.”

“It’s kind of scary. Actually, no, it’s really scary,” Methot said. “Because I’ve always watched everyone do it before me and now it’s like our turn. We encourage a lot of them because they’re new to varsity, all the kids that just came up.”

Degrace said her senior season is shaping up to be bittersweet.

“All the games and our senior night, that’ll be nice,” Degrace said. “It’ll be sad, but good.”

Arthur is expecting big things from some the girls this year, and thinks the focus on fitness early in the year will pay off for the team.

“Loran Kavanagh is a good up-and-coming player. She’s probably going to play midfield or striker,” Arthur said. “She scored a couple goals for us last season, and we’re hoping she can do the same.

“Sophia Martin is a running monster, she can go forever. So I’m hoping she’ll be a midfield force this year as well. And we’ve got a couple strong defensive players as well. We’ve got Emily Burns, Kate Harriman, Allie Bishop — they’re all going to be really strong for us.”