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McKee expecting good year for Tiger Cubs

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Greencastle girls' soccer coach Maurice McKee will take quality over quantity. For that reason, the coach may be discouraged about having just 19 girls out for the team this year, but he isn't feeling too bad.

"I actually don't feel any less about this team just because of the numbers," McKee said. "The only thing is, scrimmaging each other and stuff like that is going to change a little bit. But I'm very, very pleased with the strength and the talent I have."

Another downside will be that GHS will likely be unable to field a junior varsity squad in 2008.

Entering the season, though, McKee said he has no complaints with his team's commitment to the sport. They have been working out all summer and that paid off as the Cubs entered practice earlier this month.

"I look to have another good year, and they look to have another good year," McKee said. "They've been running and practicing all summer long on their own -- 10, 12, 13 girls part of the time. They're looking forward to it.

"It's nice to come in with them in better shape, physically," he continued. "So, we don't have to work on that quite as much. Now we can work on skills and plays and placements, which is really kind of nice."

Last year, the Cubs finished the season with a 13-3-3 record and the Terre Haute South Sectional championship. While they lost some good seniors from that team, they have some good players in key positions back.

"We have Becky Grivas back in the sweeper position," McKee said. "Hannah Spencer will be back up in front in the scoring position. She's wanting to break the school record, and this is her last year to put it all together and see if she can do that."

Spencer is likely the biggest piece in the Tiger Cub puzzle. She finished her junior campaign with 33 goals. While the Tiger Cubs lost to Tri-West in Tuesday's season opener, Spencer got off to a good start with a hat trick.

A key return for the Cubs will be Hannah Serlin, who played her first two years of high school, but ran cross country as a junior.

"Hannah Serlin is back and she's going to be very dominant in the middle. She's a midfielder and she'll take anything anybody puts to her. That's going to be a great plus for us," the coach said.

Grivas, Spencer and Serlin, along with goal keeper Jennifer Grumme will be the four seniors leading the Tiger Cub attack.

"Jennifer Grumme actually started out last year, left, and then she came out this year. She's back as our goalie," McKee said.

With a total of 16 returning players from last season, McKee has high goals for his team, seeing no reason why they can't repeat last season's success and even build upon it.

"Obviously, I'd like to see us go through sectionals again and I would like to come out of regionals, personally. I'm fairly sure that's what the girls would tell you too," McKee said. "That's what I know what my sights are set on -- to see if we can repeat last year and then go a little further."

The GHS season got off to a rocky start Tuesday with a 7-3 loss to Tri-West at home. They will attempt to rebound when they host North Putnam at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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