Girls soccer: Falcons get back in swing
December was a quiet month for the Kinkaid girls soccer team.
The Falcons contested only one match — a 2-0 loss to rival Episcopal. Otherwise, most of Kinkaid's scheduled matches, not to mention a road trip to New Orleans, La., for a tournament, were cancelled for various reasons.
"We just aren't very match-tough at the moment," said Karen Light, Kinkaid's first-year head coach.
The Falcons finally returned to the field for a pair of South Zone contests against Austin schools St. Stephen's and St. Andrew's, blanking Austin schools St. Stephen's and St. Andrew's by respective scores of 5-0 and 1-0. They also played Memorial well in a 2-0 loss, slipping to 6-2-1.
"What can I say? We're just young," said Light, a former standout at San Antonio St. Mary's Hall and Rutgers. "We only have five seniors, and the rest of them are pretty new. We have four freshmen (on the varsity), but they've all scored (goals)."
Light, who has recently coached with Albion Hurricanes, believes Kinkaid, with a few more games under its belt, could be a contender for the South Zone crown and, quite possibly, the Southwest Preparatory Conference title.
"The girls are very skilled," Light said.
"They understand the game."
The Falcons, though, are without one of their best players. Senior Rachel Feig, one of Kinkaid's defensive stalwarts, tore her anterior crucial ligament in a 2-2 tie with St. Agnes. Light said the Falcons still are feeling the loss of Feig, who moved from center back to sweeper.
"We've had to move around a few players," Light said.
Senior captain Christine Sangalis has shifted to the center back spot and has performed well. She's flanked by senior Kathryn Younger and junior Meagan Zwahlen, a transfer from Oklahoma Casady, on the outside.
"The defense is coming around," Light said.
Junior Mia Fredricks, one of the best athletes on campus, is the goalkeeper. Fredricks keeps the Falcons in contention with her exceptional moves.
"Mia is lightning quick," Light said. "She's also a very focused young lady who hates to lose."
Senior Lindsey Chew, another captain, anchors the midfield line from the middle.
"Lindsey is physically strong, technically sound and really hard-nosed," Light said.
The other center midfielder is freshman Aria Pearlman Morales, who lacks size but not playmaking ability. Junior speedster Emily Gemp and sophomore Anna Wittenmyer are the outside midfielders.
But Kinkaid is missing junior Emmy Sprague, out with a torn ACL from field hockey.
Freshman Julia Camp has been one of the biggest surprises to date. The up-and-coming forward has scored a team-best four goals.
"Julia is extremely fast and that allows her to get in position to score goals," Light said.
Senior captain Isabel Ross, who has battled back from two knee surgeries, and junior Anna Kwak are the other forwards.
"Isabel is a great competitor and the young kids look up to her," Light said. "Anna strikes the ball well. I expect her to be one of our top scorers."
Other players off the bench include senior stopper Katie Lapidus, senior forward Meagan Howell, sophomore midfielder Rienzi Reckling and sophomore forward/midfielder Gayle Bono. Howell had a hat trick against St. Stephen's.
But the future of Kinkaid girls soccer includes several promising freshmen. Aside from Camp and Pearlman Morales, several other ninth-graders are earning considerable playing time, include midfielder Drewe Molin and midfielder Aisha Matin.
The Falcons, though, are a team on the move, even if they might be another year or two away.
"Obviously, we prefer to win now, but this team is going to get a lot better in the coming years," Light said.
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