By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
After closing out the best season in the history of the Corbin Lady Redhounds soccer program, head coach Eric Steely said he knows it will be tough to top this year’s 15-win effort.
With seven seniors departing, one being the state’s leader in goals scored for much of the season in Amerah Dixon, Steely will have his work cut out when the 2013 season gets underway, but he said he feels like there is enough talent in the program to continue improving.
“Any time you lose seven seniors, it’s going to be tough to replace them,” Steely said. “Add to that the fact six of them were starters and you really have some huge holes to fill.
“The good thing is that we have some good young talent that I think will be a big help for us and we have a good group of girls that saw quite a bit of playing time this season,” he added.
The Lady Redhounds started the season with a five match win streak, but followed that by dropping two straight, one of which was to district rival South Laurel. Corbin followed that up by winning eight of the next nine contests (one tie) to improve to 13-2-1 in early October. Steely’s squad lost the next match to Southwestern and tied Perry Central, leaving them searching for some momentum heading into the 49th District Tournament.
Corbin was able to get past North Laurel, forcing a showdown with South Laurel in the district finals. Just like the previous meeting, the Lady Cardinals came away with the win, but despite the loss, Steely and company advanced to the region tournament.
A 10-0 win over Middlesboro meant the Lady Redhounds would have one last shot at South Laurel, but were unable to pick up the win and their first ever region title.
Steely said as he looks ahead, he feels like his team will be able to get over that hump known as South Laurel come next season.
“You know, South Laurel is the team to beat until someone does that and that’s one of our goals,” Steely said. “I think that as we progress, we’re going to get to that level that South has gotten to, but it’s going to take some work.
“I’m excited about some of the young talent we have in our program and I’m excited to see how this season and the success impacts the program down the road,” he added. “I feel like the girls that are leaving have left a lasting impact that will be felt for years to come.”