Elks to open sea­son with­out county’s lead­ing scorer

Cecil Whig - - & - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

It’s dif­fi­cult enough for a new coach to take over a team with only a week re­main­ing be­fore the reg­u­lar sea­son. It’s even tougher if they have to en­ter the sea­son with­out the area’s lead­ing scorer from a sea­son ago lead­ing the play­ers onto the field.

Such is the case for Dave Low­ell, the re­cently-hired head coach of the Elk­ton girls’ soc­cer team, who will open the fall sea­son with­out two-time All-County se­lec­tion Emily Cal­darelli, who is side­lined in­def­i­nitely with a leg in­jury.

Cal­darelli, a se­nior, ended last fall with 22 goals, fin­ish­ing just one goal shy of the Ce­cil County sin­gle-sea­son record set by Bo­hemia Manor’s Lane Brooks in 2013.

“Right now I just ex­pect her to get bet­ter,” Low­ell said of his top for­ward. “My first day she came to me with a hurt quad and we’re just try­ing to nurse it back to full health. I’m hop­ing to get her back on the field as fast as pos­si­ble but this is more about her be­ing a healthy col­lege ath­lete. I’ve only had one prac­tice to see her and as we all know, she’s fan­tas­tic. It’s kind of a shame. She’s dis­ap­pointed.”

Low­ell hopes that dur­ing Cal­darelli’s ab­sence, the rest of the team will im­prove, re­sult­ing in a much stronger squad when the county’s reign­ing points leader does re­turn.

“Maybe it will be a sit­u­a­tion where we can de­velop [the other play­ers] and when we get to play­offs, hope­fully long be­fore the play­offs, we’re that much stronger,” The Elk­ton girls’ soc­cer team will open the sea­son with­out se­nior for­ward Emily Cal­darelli, right, who will miss the be­gin­ning of the year with an in­jury.

the first-year coach said. “When she comes back, it might be a re­ally suc­cess­ful thing, be­cause now we might have a bunch of other play­ers who have had to carry the load. As you know, the more hands car­ry­ing the load, the lighter the load on the in­di­vid­ual. I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”

Low­ell takes over for Kelli Kerr, who de­parted late in

the sum­mer for an­other op­por­tu­nity. While the new head coach plays catchup and the team’s top scorer re­cov­ers from in­jury, sev­eral play­ers have stepped up to pro­vide lead­er­ship roles on the field.

Ju­nior Cait­lyn Rund re­turns as the team’s only var­sity goalie. While Low­ell has only been with the team a week, he’s al­ready ob­served

the im­pact Rund is hav­ing on the rest of her tea­mamtes.

“Cait­lyn is al­most like a coach on the field. She’s re­ally step­ping up. She’s sort of the soft, gen­tle hand for the younger play­ers, telling them ‘We can do this.’ She’s con­stantly step­ping up and lead­ing,” Low­ell said. “The stop­per, Jess Toller, plays in front of her and it’s the same thing. Be­tween the two of

them it’s like I only have to coach half a team be­cause those two are out there tak­ing care of the younger play­ers and bring­ing them along.”

Elk­ton will at­tempt to im­prove on a strong 2015 cam­paign in which it fin­ished 5-8 over­all and earned a third­place re­sult in the Susque­hanna Di­vi­sion. Cou­pled with the even­tual re­turn of Cal­darelli, Low­ell be­lieves the pieces are in place for an even bet­ter sea­son.

“We have four or five girls that are prob­a­bly go­ing to ro­tate up in the front be­tween at­tack, mid­field and striker. I have a cou­ple other girls who can move up from de­fen­sive mid­field and play some at­tack­ing mid­field. I think with the ro­ta­tions and the shifts, I think we’ll be OK,” Low­ell said. “They seem to re­ally be play­ing to­gether as a team, a lot of them are com­ing into their own. It’s re­ally im­pres­sive to watch.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

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