The FCHS Varsity Lady Soccer Team saw many ups and downs this 2016 soccer season. At the start of the season the ladies were faced with 5-0 loss against the East Central Trojans, a 4-0 loss against Lawrenceburg High School, and a new challenge, Talawanda High School, which resulted in a 6-0 loss. Although these losses were detrimental to the Cats spirits one thing kept them going: improvement.
Franklin County High School has only seen few remarkable female soccer teams in its time. It has never been known for it’s fantastic soccer seasons and has even struggled recruiting girls for the team in the past. Last season, a new coach was the spark FC Girl’s Soccer needed to get the ball rolling.
John Litchholt began coaching the girls soccer team with much experience under his belt. Mr. Litchholt played college soccer for Jersey City State College from 1976-1978 and has coached many select soccer teams in the tri-state area. These including Lawrenceburg, Greendale, and Batesville. His rich soccer history and “Jersey attitude” drove the girls to their first winning season since the early 2000’s. Even though the girls were still losing to prosperous teams, such as East Central (8-0) and Lawrenceburg (6-0) the girls were beginning to become familiar with improvement, teamwork, and the feeling of being winners. The ladies finished last season with an overall record of 11-8-1 respectively.
This season was a different story, and based upon this season’s performance, there are still many chapters yet to be written. As mentioned before, the ladies came back with a much improved win against East Central (5-0) compared to last season’s (8-0). They also added many new challenges to their schedule.. Adding teams that were truly the competition that Franklin County needed. Coach Litchholt dropped easier teams, such as Switzerland County, to take on stronger teams such as Talawanda High School. Even though the ladies lost 6-0 to Talawanda, they improved greatly and learned many new skills from the competition they faced.
The rest of the season was as expected. Winning to teams such as Rushville, Milan, and Greensburg. On the other hand, one unexpected loss was to Richmond. Last season the ladies managed to beat Richmond High School in the sectional and moved onto the final sectional game. Unfortunately, that was not the case this season. The Cats lost to Richmond in the regular season, 2-0. In the final game of the regular season the cat’s strongly defeated Connersville High School 5-0, pushing them to the first sectional game.
The first sectional game of the season and the last for 2016.. The game that will forever leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the Lady Cat’s for many years to come. They played against the New Castle Knights who defeated the Lady Cats 3-0 in the regular season. In the first half Gabby Mitchum managed to put a point for the Cats on the board at 38:00 minutes on the clock. FCHS was winning 1-0 the first half. During the second half, Shelby Pearson scored a gorgeous corner kick. Unfortunately, in the second half FC let two New Castle goals in. This tied the game 2-2. Both teams went through two grueling 7 minute halves of over time. Still tied. Finally it came down to penalty kicks. New Castle skimmed a victory making 5 out of 7 penalty kicks. Franklin County only making 4 out of 7. New Castle had won a game so hard fought for by the Lady Cats.
Even though they left the soccer season with a devastating loss, the ladies found comfort in their improvement and making it to a sectional game, otherwise made not possible without their hard work and determination. They finished their 2016/2017 soccer season with an overall record of 7 wins, 10 losses, and 1 draw. (7-10-1).
The FCHS Lady Soccer Team discovered that teamwork and the right attitude win games. One goal this season was not to only grow fundamentally but to also grow as a team. Team bonding was encouraged as well as character building. Close relationships with the captains and coaches were established, and the ideas of being one as a team were practiced. The girls did not let losses affect their spirits too dramatically. They learned that when they were knocked down, to get up, shake it off, and keep playing. Winners were truly made this season.
Unfortunately, the Ladies’ Team will be losing 8 beneficial assets to the team next season. Our beloved seniors. These seniors include the following: #4 Brooke Noel, scoring 3 goals this season, #22 Chelsey Hall, scoring 2 goals this season, #1 Tori Volk, scoring 1 goal this season, #13 Dana Riley, playing phenomenally as the sweeper, #00 Terese Ariens, playing goalkeeper and saving a remarkable 119 shots on goal, #10 Brenna Cooper, scoring 3 goals this season, #28 Alleya Stadtmiller, scoring 2 goals this season, and finally #11 Kelsey Ball, playing greatly as a forward and having 2 assists. These seniors will be dearly missed, and FC thanks them for their hard work and determination on and off the field all 4 years of high school.
On the other hand, many players will be returning next season that have made a great impact on the FC Soccer team this year. Junior Gabby Mitchum will be returning next season as a senior, having led the team in goals this season (6) and having 1 assist. Grace Noble, a freshman, will be returning as a sophomore next season, scoring 5 goals this season. Also returning next season is Shelby Pearson, as a junior. She scored 4 goals and led the team with 7 assists. Likewise, Hannah Surber will be returning next season, scoring 4 goals and having 4 assists.
Although, it was a shaky season for the Lady Cats on paper, they have never stopped developing from start to finish. Next season looks incredibly promising with so much young talent returning to the field. The girls also plan to build on their streak of improvement and focus on their weaknesses. Thanks to Coach John Litchholt and the success that the ladies have produced over the past two years, anything is possible and this is just the beginning to wins against teams like East Central, Talawanda, and being the remarkable female soccer team that Franklin County High School so rarely sees.