The Carroll boys soccer team advanced four rounds in the postseason in 2013, and with a number of key players returning from last year's squad, coach Greg Oglesby said he is hopeful his team will pick up right where it left off.
The Dragons lost to Flower Mound Marcus in the regional semifinals last season, and with that on their mind, Oglesby said his team looks very good early on.
“I am anxious to see how we look in our scrimmage on Tuesday,” Oglesby said last weekend. “You bang on each other for four months, and you get tired of doing that after a while. We have our alumni scrimmage on Saturday, followed by Grapevine next Tuesday, so we'll know quite a bit in about a week. We've looked good in practice early on.
“We've had some trouble getting them in because of the holiday break, but we are playing well. We're still in process of putting the roster together. A couple of kids have been hurt and one player has not even been able to try out yet. We'll sort all that out in the next week or two.”
The Dragons have a number of strong returning players, including Logan Webb, Shane Carpenter, Jack Parrish and Walker Beasley.
Patrick Leal will start at keeper for Carroll this year, and Oglesby said that there are a couple of objectives he has for his team this season.
“The first thing we talk about his getting to the playoffs,” Oglesy said. “It's always nice to win a district championship; that looks good. After that, we kind of talk about it as it comes up. We divide the season into three seasons. We don't try to downplay the preseason, but we always tell them that in the preseason, we could could go 10-0 or 0-10, and it really doesn't matter. You start district at 0-0. Non-district is for sorting things out, getting some experience and establishing a lineup so when district starts, we are really set in terms of how plays where.”
Carroll finished up last season with a 21-4-4 record last season, and to repeat upon that type of success, Oglesby said it will take a couple of things.
“We need to get our defense put back to together,” Oglesby said. “We bring back one defender (Webb), and we have a new goalie. That back five has got to step up. We need to get our starters established and then they have to gel. They have to play good collectively.”
• On the girls side, coach Matt Colvin said it was difficult for the Lady Dragons to make it to state last season and lose in the championship game, but said he was proud of how well his team played throughout the year and said this season is shaping up very well, also.
“Things are going well,” Colvin said. “We've made some good progress this off season. We have a lot of new faces that we've been plugging into our system. I'm very happy with where our team is at the moment.”
Colvin said he has a number stronger returning players as well, including Kylie McBride, Grace Cory, Nichole Sloan, Alya Sams and Jordan Connors.
Sams and Connors were out last season with injuries.
“We had a large roster last year, and we do again this year,” Colvin said. “We also played 33 games last year, which is almost two seasons for some teams, so we have a lot of experience.”
With falling just short in its bid for a state title last year, Colvin said the objective for this season is pretty straightforward for his team.
“We're fortunate to be in a position where we have an influx of good talent coming through year after year, so that is always a goal of ours, is to win a state championship. We have a lot of goals along the way, but that is definitely one of them.”
In order to have a strong postseason run again this season, Colvin said it will take a couple of things from his team.
“I think the biggest thing is just staying focused on taking things one step at a time,” Colvin said. “When you fall short, sometimes that game sticks in your mind, and you want to get back to that point. We have to focus on all of the things that we did to get to that point last year.”