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Lovett girls’ soccer climbs to top ranking
by Greg Oshust
April 03, 2014 09:08 AM | 2605 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Lovett goalkeeper Janie Price makes a save during practice.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Lovett goalkeeper Janie Price makes a save during practice.
The Lovett girls’ soccer team entered the 2014 season with high hopes after advancing to the Class AA state semifinals a year ago.

The Lions are certainly living up to their promise with a 10-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in the latest AA poll.

With its 10 wins, Lovett has already come close to matching its win total of 2012, when it went 11-9-1.

“We knew in the field, we were going to be very strong with a lot of returning players,” Lovett coach Will Lozier said. “We had a lot of good, new, young players that we’ve had our eye on for a few years who have been in the middle school and [junior varsity] program who have really stepped up for us.”

The Lions have especially been boosted at the goalkeeper position, where senior Janie Price — a standout out on the school’s volleyball team — has emerged as a key player in her first year on the girls’ soccer squad with seven shutouts in goal to her credit.

“We had a big question mark around the keeper situation,” Lozier said. “We had two great keepers in the last four years and we had Janie step in and really learn the position from scratch and I think that’s the thing that has put us over the hump. She has performed exceptionally well, given how green she is as a keeper.”

Seniors Rachael Western — a Davidson signee — and Kimberlin Rogers join Price in a strong defensive unit that has allowed only six goals in the Lions’ 11 games.

“The backfield, anchored by Kimberlin and Rachael, has been phenomenal,” Lozier said. “They work hard for one another, they speak to one another on the field and they do a good job of helping Janie along.”

The midfield is a strength for Lovett, with sophomore Grace Jackson and junior Rebecca Schoen leading the way.

Lozier said he is encouraged by the influx of talent on the team as well as how it plays as a cohesive unit.

“We’ve got a lot of great players coming into the program,” Lozier said. “It’s a great group and they match really well. They care for one another and they’ll do battle for one another.”

Things are about to get tougher for Lovett as it gets into its Region 6AA schedule. It has two games each against defending AA champion Westminster and state semifinalist Wesleyan and a contest against Greater Atlanta Christian – who the Lions beat 1-0 in their first meeting March 4 — coming up.

“The final four at state has been from our region [Lovett, Westminster, GAC and Wesleyan] the last three years,” Lozier said. “It’s going to be a challenge. We have risen to the occasion so far and I think we can do it again.”

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