Lady Eagles prepare for early season battle

Two young teams will face off in women’s soccer Saturday. The John Brown University Lady Eagles will take on the University of the Ozarks Lady Eagles Sept. 8 at Alumni Field.

A team of mostly sophomores and freshmen, the Ozark Lady Eagles finished last season with a record of 3-16 in the American Southwest Conference. This year, many of their star players have returned. Sophomores Brooke Tralmer and Scotti-Lynn Burnside are reported to be standouts on the defensive line, and head Coach Bryan Drotar believes junior Monica Seiler will be “fierce.”

“Monica is confident and she is poised for another good year. She is a tough, physical defender. She is fast and also gives us the ability to attack out of the back,” said Drotar.

He believes the team has some great defenders, but Drotar is a little concerned about the Ozark offense.

“We will have to learn to score by committee. I don’t think it will be just one single player that is scoring a lot of goals, but rather several players,” said Drotar.

As of press time, the team had a record of 0-3.

Last season for the Golden Eagles, three freshmen lead the team in goals: Laura Garcia with 17, followed by Adrienne Kennedy with 12 and Casey O’Brien with 11.

All three have returned this year as sophomores, but it is Garcia that continues to be a primary scoring threat. In the three games played as of press time, Garcia lead the team with two goals.

Head Coach Scott Marksberry has noticed her performance.

“Laura looks so dangerous right now. As a sophomore, she understands her role and has executed perfectly timed runs,” said Marksberry. “We look for her to continue her impressive play.”

But Garcia is not the only player who has proven herself so far this season. O’Brien took the place of senior Cheyenne Padgett due to an injury in the game versus Trinity Christian (Ill.).

“Casey O’Brien did a marvelous job in [Padgett’s] absence against Trinity Christian,” said Marksberry. “Casey has distributed the ball well and defended well.”

JBU and U of O face off this Saturday at JBU at 1 p.m.