Lady Flyers soaring as they enter postseason

Feb. 28, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.

They face a new challenge in the playoffs and expect a different result.

After being eliminated by Plano John Paul II in the TAPPS playoffs each of the past two seasons, the St. Joseph girls soccer team is eager to face Houston Northland Christian in the TAPPS Division II area playoffs Saturday afternoon.

Kickoff is schedule for 3 p.m.

"I think it will be a challenge for our passing," said Lady Flyers defender Morgan Barker. "I feel these teams will be tougher and faster. I believe our defense will remain strong in tough situations, so I'm excited."

If there is excitement in winning, St. Joseph has sustained that for the better part of two months. The Lady Flyers (12-4) won three of four games in January's Crossroads Classic and haven't looked back.

Outside of knowing the Cougars finished second in District 4-Division II, the Flyers enter Saturday's match unaware of the team across from them.

However, St. Joseph coach Vicki Sontheimer said having an element of the unknown means the Lady Flyers will be ready from the opening whistle rather than easing their way into the game.

While some are optimistic, Kendra Spencer will take a little more trepidation into the contest.

"It's going to be nerve wracking," said Spencer, a midfielder who will make her first playoff start Saturday. "If you make one little mistake, it could cost us a goal."

Since Spencer moved to Victoria from Saginaw, Mich., last year, it was quite an adjustment spending her winters playing outdoor soccer, but the sophomore midfielder has not made too many of the mistakes she is fretting about.

Her coach and teammates say her presence in central midfield has been a welcomed addition to the program.

"Adding Kendra has helped us in the middle," Sontheimer said. "Having Lindsey play goalkeeper the last few games for us has allowed us to put Anna (Samples) on defense, which has solidified everything. . It's made the field stronger having Kendra and Nicole (Sontheimer) move the ball up to Amanda (Groenhuyzen), passing balls to her and helping her take shots."

Samples started the season at goalkeeper but was moved to the field due to injuries elsewhere. She plays on the right wing for her club soccer team and has played with her fellow defenders for years at the club and varsity level.

Morgan Barker, a junior defender, said the entire defense plays for the U-18 Victoria Heat and seven Flyers in all play for the club team. That continuity has paid off this winter at the varsity level.

"I've been playing with my two defenders and my stopper for five years," Barker said. "We can anticipate each other's movements. We are really confident in the back with each other."



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