Tonawanda News — “We only had five or six returning players from last year,” Dauria said. “It’s pretty much like starting a brand new team. This is the best thing that could’ve happened for us. It wasn’t just two or three kids walking onto a team that was pretty much the same from last year.”
Forward and outside midfielder Ryan Merritt is also new, transferring to the squad from Southern tier powerhouse Holland. Despite the turnover, Dauria says the mood’s been great on the Thunder field.
“It hasn’t been a big thing,” she said. “The girls get along great. We said from Day One. We all want to beat Nardin. We all want to beat Sacred Heart.”
It helps to have strong leadership, which Dauria has in captains Carolyn Kennedy and Jessica Hart.
“Both have been on varsity since their freshman year,” Dauria said. “They are definitely two of our standout soccer players and they’ve both been our leaders, even in last year’s season as well.”
Rounding out the clean slate are two freshman: forward Paige Freer and midfielder McKenna O’Rourke. Dauria said the only thing that could hold them back would be their size.
“We don’t typically take freshman unless I know they are going to play,” Dauria said. “And these two freshmen, when they are healthy, are both starters.”
— Nick MendolaFind @tonanewssports and sports editor @MattParrino on Twitter for complete high school sports coverage.