Here's a look at this year's Jefferson girls' soccer team:
•Coach: Molly McCarty
•Key players: Margo Perry (Sr.), Ally-Kate Navas (Sr.), Val LaDue (Sr.), Sarah LaMar (Sr.), Chloe Hopcraft (Sr.), Sierra Tresner (Sr.), Kristin Dean (Sr.), Makenna Lay (Sr.) and Halie Vaughan (Sr.)
•Strengths: Coach Molly McCarty, who guided the Dragons to the Final Four last year, points to team chemistry, academics, gains in the weight room and skill development.
•Weaknesses: “As with all high school teams whose players may play at various clubs, molding them and building team unity is always a challenge,” McCarty said.
•Region outlook: Jefferson finished as region runners-up last year after a loss to Jackson County that went 11 rounds of PKs. “Obviously, it should be a war again with Jackson County,” McCarty said. “I respect all teams in our region, especially the ones that are close, because most of the girls play with each other in club season.”
•Season outlook: McCarty, whose program has advanced to two Final Fours in the last three years, said she’s encouraged with the leadership from her team, and not just from the seniors. “The seniors we have now are the freshmen I started with, and I am very encouraged with how they have built and contributed to the culture of Jefferson soccer,” McCarty said. It has been a collective effort from all parties — parents, players, coaches, community — to be where we are today. We are excited for the season.”