We’ve learned and grown so much as a team and as coaches.Lady Mustangs head coach Amanda Johnson
GUYTON — After being rebuffed at the first-round door of the Class AAAAAA playoffs by Warner Robins in each of the past two years, South Effingham’s girls soccer team is eager for a breakthrough.
The Lady Mustangs sport 10 seniors who are loaded for bear.
“I’ve been looking forward to this year since I started,” fourth-year head coach Amanda Johnson said. “We’ve learned and grown so much as a team and as coaches.”
South Effingham has the bulk of its leading scorers and top defenders back for another playoff push. One of the top returnees is Ella Higdon, a starter since her freshman campaign.
Johnson was a stout defender in college and she still thinks defense first.
“Anyone can have the drive to score a goal but it takes a lot of talent and a lot of heart to play in the back and take on all that responsibility,” she said.
South Effingham’s last line of defense is senior goalie Loren Kersey. She is capably backed by a junior and senior.
Johnson is counting on some strong leaders emerging, possibly from some of the other classes. In addition to their large crop of seniors, the Lady Mustangs feature one junior, three sophomores and 10 freshmen.
“A lot of freshmen have been super supportive, very encouraging and are very eager to be here,” Johnson said during a Jan. 22 practice. “That is super nice to see.”
South Effingham will open season Tuesday at home at 5 p.m. versus Savannah Christian. It will host Coastal Home School on Friday at 5 p.m.