The Lady Wildcats were 0-16 and were outscored 76-12, giving up five or more goals in nine of those games.
Last year, Trigg County opted to play a junior varsity schedule – partly because of the limited number of high schoolers on the roster and partly because the younger players needed another year of seasoning at the J.V. level.
Trigg County fielded two squads last year, including a younger developmental squad that has become the normal J.V. team this year.
Now, Head Coach Dana Bush and the Lady Wildcats are back at the varsity level, in a different district, and ready to erase the memories of 2002.
The Lady Wildcats have just enough high school players to field a team in 2004, however the soccer program’s future appears bright with large numbers of middle school players at the J.V. level. KHSAA rules prohibit middle schoolers from playing at the varsity level in contact sports such as football and soccer.
"We’re looking at probably 12 committed players at the varsity level, but the numbers are up with our J.V. team, and they should be strong in a few years," Bush said.
Bush feels the Lady Wildcats will be a strong defensive team, with several regulars back, including two-year starter Megan Francis at goalie.
"She and (backup) Darlene Young has strong summers during camp. We’ve got some others that will help our defense be strong," Bush said.
Co-captain Kelsey Hill returns on the defensive side for the Lady Wildcats, but two of their stronger defensive players are also their best options on offense.
Bush said she plans to rotate Kendra Goforth and Lindsey Darnall on offense and defense because of their ability to score.
"They’re strong on defense, but they have offensive skills so we’ll swap them out as needed," she said.
Trigg County showed the ability to score last year at the J.V. level but had a hard time taking advantage of very opportunity given them.
"We’ve worked harder on our offense and have worked at finishing the play," Bush said. "That was a big problem last year. We’d be in position to score but couldn’t finish the play."
One area Bush has seen considerable improvement from last year is communication between the players on the field.
"We’re looking for teamwork on the field. We’ve added some new players, and we need them to communicate with each other," she said.
Bush has especially been pleased with the play of junior captain Molly Walters, who has taken on more of a leadership role with the team.
"She has stepped up into that role, and the other girls are recognizing that. She’s trying to make the other girls better, and I have high hopes for her this season," she said.
Bush was pleased with Trigg’s performance at the Murray State team camp over the summer, despite the low numbers for her squad.
"I’m seeing more commitment and a better attitude from the team since then. We really came together, and it was a major teambuilding experience for us," she said.
Trigg County will play in the Fourth District with Caldwell County, Crittenden County, Dawson Springs, and defending Second Region champion Lyon County.
"I’m nervous about district play and don’t know a whole lot about the other teams. Lyon and Caldwell always have good teams, and I think we can play with
Crittenden County and Dawson Springs," Bush said.
Trigg County will play district opponents Lyon County (13-4-2) and Dawson Springs (1-13-2) twice. They will play Caldwell County (12-9) and Crittenden County (4-6-3) once.
Trigg County will play two teams from the Fifth District – University Heights (6-11-1) and Hopkinsville (13-4-2).
First Region teams on their schedule include Calloway County (10-5-2) in the season opener, St. Mary (2-14-1), and Reidland (6-9-2).
The Lady Wildcats will also play Third Region opponents Union County (3-13-2) and Webster County (3-12-3).
Also on the schedule is a pair of games with Todd County, who is making their varsity soccer debut in 2004.
"We’d like to get s couple of wins this year, but we just want to play hard and get better as the season goes on," Bush said.
Trigg County opens the 2004 season Tuesday at the Complex against Calloway County in a J.V./Varsity doubleheader at 5:30 p.m.