Elks to open season without county’s leading scorer
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