Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Excitement, Hard Work Drive Team to Success

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Excitement, Hard Work Drive Team to Success

Article excerpt

The girls' soccer team at Francis Howell High has already provided some early-season surprises for first-year coach Tim Holmes.

The Lady Vikings, who were 6-10-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the Gateway Athletic Conference last year, upset fourth-seeded St. Charles West 4-2 Monday and fell 2-1 Wednesday to top-seeded Francis Howell North in the opening rounds of the GAC Tournament at Duchesne.

Howell played Wentzville in the third-place game Thursday. "This is a young team - we only have two seniors, and I started five sophomores Monday - so I really didn't know what to expect," said Holmes, who coached Howell's freshmen last year and who previously coached five seasons of boys' and girls' varsity soccer at St. John's High in St. Louis. "I didn't expect us to come out and score four goals Monday, but it's amazing what a little success can do for a team, especially a team as young as this one. Our practice (Tuesday) was great; the girls were excited about the way they played against St. Charles West, and now they're really buying into the system we're playing. They're working harder in practice, and that's going to help us to continue to improve as the season goes on." Holmes continued: "We still have some work to do, but we're getting there." Senior Julie Davidson, a first-team All-GAC selection as a sophomore and a second-teamer last year, figures to key the Howell attack. She'll be joined up top by sophomore Tamra Tungate. Juniors Hilary Ricketson and Beth Bushong will provide depth up front while talented freshman Melissa McLellan figures to see time at both forward and in the midfield. Junior Michelle Brzezinski, a team co-captain along with Davidson, will join sophomore Lauren Grossman at center midfield. The starting wing midfielders are junior Val DeVerger and sophomore Carrie Becker. Junior Katie Priess and sophomore Michelle Bannister also figure to see midfield duty. The team's goalkeepers are junior Stefanie Smith, who's moved up from the junior-varsity, and freshman Tyanne Fries. …

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