“Winning state is always the goal,” Rape said. “Marist didn’t beat us on skill they beat us on speed. So our focus this year has really been conditioning these girls to where they can be fast.”
Last season, Locust Grove fell to eventual-champion Marist in the Elite Eight.
“We want to win state,” Marist goaltender Katie Miklausich said. That has been our goal every season. So far we’ve only made it to the Elite Eight. It’s my senior year. I want a ring.”
However before looking that far ahead, the Lady Wildcats will have to take care of business during the rest of the regular season, especially contests against conference foes Spalding and Upson-Lee.
“Our toughest opponent will be Spalding,” Rape said. “It’s a region game that is always contentious--yellow cards are usually given during that game. It’s usually a tight win. We beat them last year. I think we will do well this year if we stay focused.”
“I’m definitely ready for the Spalding game coming up,” Miklausich said. “We went to penalty kicks last year which was very exciting. I love penalty kicks whereas most goalkeepers don’t because they are supposed to score on you. I pretty much have a 75 percent save rate on PKs, which is unheard of.”
Locust Grove hosts the Lady Jaguars on March 28 and host Upson-Lee on April 15.
“Upson-Lee was a really tough game last year,” Miklausich said.
From looking at the rest of the Lady Wildcats’ schedule, their only other challenges outside of conference play appear to be against Luella, Union Grove and Pike County.
“Our experience is about the same as last year,” Rape said. “If we maintain our speed, we will be fine since skill is not an issue.”