By CAINE GARDNER
ROACHDALE -- For first year girls' soccer coach Willie Gaskins, the 2008 season will be all about steady improvement for the North Putnam Cougars.
The Cougars will be led by returning seniors. Leah Crosby, Jessica Roseman and Kate Williams are Gaskins' seniors and will give the Cougars some much-needed experience.
Gaskins also pointed out that a strength for the Cougars will be their scoring prowess. He noted that the team has a lot of talented players that are able to fire shot from long range.
North Putnam fields a relatively young team, but will balance that with a quickened pace that Gaskin hopes will keep teams on their heels.
"The team looks very ready to play and their pace should be high," Gaskins said. "For my first year as a head coach I plan on getting the girls to play high pace games. It will be a learning experience for everyone involved."
Preparing for the season, Gaskins had the team do drills to improve their ball handling and their shooting. They also worked on their conditioning, in the hopes that endurance will not become an issue.
Gaskins said a big difference from last year's squad is that they've improved on their front lines and shooting the ball.
The Cougars sit at 1-1 and Gaskins is optimistic the season will be a successful one.
"I expect a good season," Gaskins said. " We have some upcoming players who with time will improve."