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Patriot girls’ soccer seeks redemption
by E. Marcel Pourtout
February 26, 2014 11:12 AM | 1484 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>From left, Paulding County junior Melissa Cifuentes and freshman Courtney Hahn race for the ball during practice last Thursday.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
From left, Paulding County junior Melissa Cifuentes and freshman Courtney Hahn race for the ball during practice last Thursday.
Last season, the Paulding County girls’ soccer team won its first four contests and looked primed to have a breakout year. However, the squad didn’t win another contest the rest of the season and have had difficulty preparing for this upcoming campaign due to the recent inclement weather.

“Our preparation has been decent,” head coach Matthew Putnam said. “We haven’t had a lot of time to get ready for this season but we’ve been creative. We’ve done conditioning in the gym and worked in the weight room with agility stuff. We try to be as flexible as we can.”

Despite the obstacles, the Patriots have optimism coming into this season.

“I think we’re working together really well and everyone gets along with team-bonding time,” senior midfielder Kristen Wadsworth said.

Sophomore striker Kaylee Gardner added, “It’s been tough but we’re preparing well and I think we’re going to have a good season.”

Paulding County will be led on the field by senior defenders Dominique Dudzinski, who recently accepted a scholarship to attend Georgia Southwestern University this upcoming fall, and Madi Tolman, both of whom have been named captains for the squad.

“Dominique is a natural leader who’s good at showing teammates the right way by example,” Putnam said. “Madi is new to the leadership role but both of them have good ideas because of experience. I’ve had them since freshman year.”

The team also implemented new wrinkles into the game plan.

“We have a different formation this year and should get more shots on goal,” Gardner said. “We’ll also have a stronger defense and more overall speed which will make our team a lot better.

“We want to have a winning record which I think we can do,” Putnam said. “We have more talent on this team than in previous seasons and this will be a good year.”

The Patriots return to action Thursday against Temple.

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