LAKEVILLE, IN. – The summer is about individual, as well as, team development. Each individual player has the chance to work on ball handling skills, passing to work the ball up field, defensive strategy, and goal keeping skills that will increase overall confidence. Most importantly, the players get a chance to play.
Over a pair of weekends, LaVille soccer had the chance to participate in the Frankfort Friendlies and the Argos Friendlies.
“These last two weekends have been a great learning experience for everyone and have allowed me to really see the potential of this team,” said LaVille Girls Soccer coach Daniel Pleninger. “First a majority of our starters for these tournaments (especially at Frankfort) were players who weren’t used to starting. I was really impressed with the way these players stepped up and did not let pressure get to them.
“It also gave me a chance to see our incoming freshmen in game situations,” he continued. “I am proud of their performances and I am excited for what they can bring to the team. I think that they will do a good job of challenging our returning players in practice and will develop into a talented class.
Pleninger returns for his second season after the Lancers went 15-4 overall in 2017 and sectional champions
Angie Dunalp and Pleninger’s wife, Lindsey, return as assistants.
The summer “Friendlies” provide an opportunity to travel and see some new competition.
“I always like these summer tournaments because it allows us to play teams we would normally never get to play,” explained Pleninger. “The only team in our class was Southmont and playing against larger schools give us the confidence that we can compete with any school. Also, these matches act as a wake up call for most of our players and show us where we need to be by the end of the season. And it shows the freshmen the level of competition they can expect to face every game.
“I thought that all the players did a good job of being flexible and playing multiple positions,” continued Pleninger. “I thought that our defense played well and our back four did of good job of supporting each other. Finally our team did a good job communicating on the field especially when shifting positions. I think we still have a lot of things to improve on, how we react during adversity, we need more practice in how the formation shifts in certain situations, corner kicks, and knowing where to pass the ball before you receive a pass.”
According to Pleninger, he is looking to seniors Kelsey Aschenbrenner, Micah Edwards, Cory Hess, and Shelfie Zeiger to be top players this year and to be leaders at all times.
“They will set the tone for our team at practice and during the match,” said Pleninger. “These tournaments give us a foundation to build from for the rest of this year. There will be many changes throughout the season and we are looking to improve every game so that we are playing our best soccer at the end of the year.”
The first official day of practice will be Monday July 30 at Newton Park.
The Lancers will open the season Saturday August 11 at home in a scrimmage against Argos. Start time is 3 p.m. at Newton Park.