The Wildcats appear ready to continue their dominance after starting the 2013 season with two impressive victories — defeating Darlington 21-4 in their season opener Feb. 17 and Riverwood 21-3 Feb. 19.
“We’ve been missing some people in those first couple of games,” Westminster coach Jay Watts said. “We’ve been waiting for a couple of swimmers and some basketball players — waiting for their season to wrap up. [We were] actually at full strength for the first time [last week].”
Westminster has been on a roll, with A-AAAAA state titles in 2010, ’11, ’12 and ’13 as well as an 80-4-2 record the last four years.
“It’s certainly great to have that tradition and I think the girls that come into the program know that we have high expectations,” Watts said. “But at the same time, every year is different and we’re not trying to do anything based on what’s been done in the past. We’re trying to do the best we can this year with this crop of athletes.”
Westminster lost a number of key players from last year’s state championship team — including leading scorer Caroline Heys — and feature a much younger lineup, though mixed with some veteran returners.
“We’ve got a lot of fresh faces,” Watts said. “For our game against Darlington, we started four freshmen in that game. We had not started a freshman in our season opener since 1999 — we started four in that game.
“So, it’s a totally different dynamic, with so many freshmen and sophomores that are contributing this year — balancing that out with the experience that the juniors and seniors bring with them from last year. We’re still kind of in a get-to-know-one-another phase, trying to figure out everybody’s strength and being able to use those [strengths] the best we can.”
The Wildcats feature a balanced lineup, with senior defender Maggie Cushing, senior attackers Cabell Zakas — last year’s second-leading scorer with 60 goals — Isabel Odom and Caroline Midis and junior midfielders Chandler McCamey, Annie Calfo and Mallie Egan the key returners.
McCamey, Calfo and Egan combined for 17 goals and five assists through the first two games for Westminster.
“We have eight or nine girls who can lead us in scoring on any given night,” Watts said. “Last year, we got half of our goals from just two or three people and this year we’ve had four or five different girls score two or three goals in a game. We’re scoring in different ways. It’s exciting to have a team that’s that balanced, because it will make it that much harder to stop us down the road. It’s not just one or two players that they will be able to sit on and take us out of our game.”