There’s a new look for the St. Mary’s High School girls soccer team.
New head coach Brittany Heist is an accomplished soccer player and coach and she has her eyes set on leading the Lancers to the postseason and beyond. Also the school’s new athletic director, Heist is expecting to add girls soccer to the list of programs that see the small St. Mary’s go toe-to-toe with some of the much larger Monsignor Martin Athletic Association programs.
But first things first. While league championships are the ultimate goal, Heist and the Lancers are first looking to rebound last year’s two-win season into a winning campaign in 2016.
“The expectation we have for ourselves was making the playoffs and being above .500,” Heist said, “so those were the goals we set. But we’re just looking at things game-by game and looking to get better.”
Heist, a 2007 graduate of Lancaster High School was a two-time All-Western New York Selection in high school, collecting 34 goals and 27 assists in her prep career. She went on to star at Boston University, where amongst many other honors, she was the America East Conference Midfielder of the Year in 2011.
And early on, she really likes what she sees with her Lancers. SMH will be led by senior captain Courtney Kline, a transfer from the now-closed Immaculata Academy as well as senior midfielder Grace Fuller, another captain. Sophomore Madelynn Stearns is also expected to dazzle and showed that from the get-go, picking up the hat trick in the season-opening win over Cardinal O’Hara.
“Those three primarily and then we have a lot of others that we expect a lot from as well,” Heist said.
“We had a really good preseason; we had some really great team activities a couple of times. Everybody’s gelling, it’s a great number of girls and everyone’s healthy. That’s what we want.”
The first game of the Heist era was a big success. The Lancers opened on Sept. 1 at MMA rival Cardinal O’Hara and posted a 7-3 win over the Hawks.
“It’s a great win,” Heist said. “First game, a little hesitant with a new coach and a new team but it was a good start. Everyone got in the game and we hit some of the goals we set for the first game, which was to get possession, getting a lot of shots on goal and working out from the back, so it was good.”
The Lancers have championship expectations – but early on, they’re just looking to stick with the basics. St. Mary’s is just looking to get better every day and hoping the best is soon to come.
“Our goals are to get to the playoffs and keep getting better,” Heist said. “Honestly, we want to get away from just booting the ball down the field and learning to keep possession and switch the point of attack. Those primarily are the goals. But game-by-game, we want to keep getting better and better.”
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