Cougars believe in state title dream

September 28, 2007|By Andrew Mason and Dan Kauffman

Jefferson girls soccer coach Dunnie Bache doesn't always have such high hopes.

"I've never gone into a season saying we're going to take it, until this year," said Bache, in his seventh year with the Cougars, "because I never thought that we could. But we have the potential this year. I really feel that with our 'A' game that we can play with anyone in the state."

Jefferson is ranked fourth in West Virginia and, through Wednesday, is 9-0-2, having outscored its opposition 46-4. The Cougars, who have never played in a state final, went 20-2 last year, falling 3-0 to eventual champ Parkersburg in the state semis.

"For the first time in my seven years, the girls really believe in themselves that they're something special," Bache said. "I'm not sure if they even believed in themselves last year. But we had success, and we've just built on that."


Jefferson returned four All-Area players from last year ? first-teamers Sarah Cogswell and Jenny Perry and second-teamers Tiffany Banks and Shannon Conway.

"We have a veteran team with a lot of returning players," Bache said. "The girls on the team have been through the system."

Jefferson's JV team also is undefeated this year and hasn't lost since 2004.

"The JV practices with the varsity and goes through the same training," Bache said. "A lot of the success is based on the girls just buying into the system, and ours is not an easy system to play because we do not play direct. We stress going from A to B, short passes and a lot of running. It takes a lot of time to develop."

Katie Perry has a team-high seven goals this season, while Banks and Cogswell have each scored six.

"We've had 16 players score this season," Bache said. "We really don't have a star, but there's nothing wrong with that. If a player has a bad game, someone else picks up for that."

A trio of Jefferson keepers ? Heather Wilson, Sarah Cooper and Melissa Taylor ? has combined for eight shutouts.

"It's a complete team," said Bache, who's still not completely satisfied.

"We still don't have that killer instinct," he said. "We struggle to put the ball in the back of the net. Our two ties (against Parkersburg South and University in August) should have been victories. We outshot our opponents. We're getting opportunities that are not half chances; they're full chances.

"Our games that are 4-0 should have been 9-0, and that's bothersome because those opportunities are going to run out down the road."

Bache and the Cougars have the vision to see pretty far down it this year.

Talbott hits milestone

Senior Sarah Talbott scored both goals in Musselman's 2-0 win over Hedgesville last week, giving her 100 for her career.

"It's crazy," Applemen coach Ryan Lawn said. "You basically have to score a goal every single game you play for four years. It shows remarkable consistency."

Trojans get it together

The struggles of a 1-3 start are a thing of the past for No. 1 Chambersburg's boys.

The Trojans ? sparked by a 1-0 victory over Mid-Penn Commonwealth power Cumberland Valley on Sept. 13 ? have won six of their last seven games, outscoring opponents 18-4 in that stretch.

Chambersburg's offense has been led by Kevin Cramer (seven goals, five assists), Jean Carlo Jimenez (three goals, four assists) and Sean Collier.

"Sean is an engine, a workhorse in the midfield," Grove said. "Jean Carlo is another guy who just never quits. So many players will make a play and then they're done. He makes a play and he's looking for the next play, and he never quits on the ball."

Chambersburg has four shutouts in the past two weeks, with Alex Swartz a major reason why.

"He's really played well, and that was one of key changes we made. We toyed around with getting him into the midfield, and that didn't work out," Grove said. "He really controls the center of that backfield."

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