Lady Tigers soccer retooling behind youth

The Hahnville Lady Tigers soccer team has a bright future—to get there, however, youth must first be served.

A freshmen-laden team has struggled to find victories this season, going 4-16-2 through its first 20 matches. Injuries to key seniors have played a role, not only in the loss of their production but because it necessitated the need to shuffle players into different positions. But Hahnville coach Alex Romero believes a number of the team’s younger players have what it takes to make a big impact for the program in the future, while he’s very proud of the leadership several seniors have shown this season.

One of those seniors, Phoebe Jurenka, moved from offense to defense out of necessity this season, and has thrived at her new wing back position.

“She’s been the rock of our team,” Romero said. “She’s been a spectacular leader and a consistent presence for us. She made that move unselfishly and has been doing all you could want for the team.”

Goalkeeper Gabby Lauve has been another bright spot. The senior moved into the goal after playing as a defender last season and has made her mark.

“She’s made a lot of nice saves to keep us in a bunch of games this year,” Romero said.

Leading goal scorer Bailey King is another senior who has been strong, averaging nearly a goal per game.

“She’s worked on her ability to finish,” Romero said. “She’s used her speed and size and has learned to convert those scoring opportunities when they arise, and she usually does.”

Among younger players, the freshmen trio of Marissa Gilbert, Mya Theriot and Kayden O’Toole have the tools to be “really special” for the Tigers in the near future, Romero said. Gilbert and Theriot have played a number of positions and showed versatility, while O’Toole has shown a lot of ability on offense.

The Tigers are showing improvement, even in losses.. The team fell in a close match to Thibodaux last Thursday, 1-0, THS scoring the decisive goal early in the second half.

“We had some opportunities in first half,” Romero said. “They scored early in second half. We couldn’t get offense rolling after that.”

With five matches left, Romero said he wants to see the Tigers continue to fight.

“I want to see resolve,” Romero said. “To tinish as best we possibly can and get better every game and week. To finish this thing for our seniors who have been here for four years and so our freshman can have a solid finish to build on.”

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