Goodwin, Bryant, and Marissa McMillan are the team’s only three seniors who, with the help of a handful of juniors (including three-year varsity members Sam Schnelle, Taylor Ellis), will help six first-year players adjust to the rigors of varsity soccer. Four of the six are starters.
“In my starting lineup, I think I’ve got four or five new players this year — incoming freshmen and then girls that transferred over from track,” Gremar said. “Just getting the whole team atmosphere of how they can use each other and play off of each other (will be important). We spent a lot of time on that this week just working on give-and-gos and overlaps and communication; cleaning up a lot of the little things that hopefully by the end of the season will be second nature, and they’ll be ready to go.”
Newcomer Lexi Hoskins, who specialized in the 400-meter run on last year’s girls track team, is expected to give the Vikings a boost in team speed either as a sweeper or forward. Despite the inexperience, it is the potential and athleticism of the team that has Gremar and the veterans optimistic for the 2014 season.
“Lexi Hoskins did track, and I feel like her speed helps us out a lot, definitely in the back. It helps us have a stable defense. Some of the other new girls are fast. There’s Dahaila (Escobedo) — she’s really fast and she’s a good forward. She gets the ball up there and she tackles really well.”
They got their first taste of high school soccer in the Decatur St. Teresa tournament where the Vikings finished 2-2 with both losses coming against Charleston. Their two wins came against Mattoon (2-1) and Decatur Eisenhower (5-0). Hoskins scored two of Danville’s five goals against Eisenhower.