Augusta Prep girls soccer coach Forrest Wimberly has nicknames for his top three seniors. The casual listener might think he was calling out professional wrestlers rather than high school girls.
"Here we've got Mary Beth Horton. She's The Finisher," he said. "When she gets around the goal the game is over. Then we've got Elena Freeman. She's The Sweeper. She's solved any problem other teams have posed for us. Karen (Filpus-Luyckx) is The Destroyer. She disrupts and stops everything in the midfield."
Though the introductions might sound better placed at a World Wrestling Entertainment event, they fit the Lady Cavaliers seniors surprisingly well. It's not the only surprise the team has had this season.
"Our record is 10-3-2, and I have to say that with a smile on my face," Wimberly said. "We've got seven freshman and sophomore starters."
After a 2006 season riddled with injuries, 2007 came with a big question mark when the team lost most of its offensive production to graduation. Horton, Freeman and Filpus-Luyckx have been the answers.
Horton's 14 goals and 11 assists in 15 games leads the Lady Cavaliers. She's the third best scorer in the Georgia Independent Schools Association and boasts two game-winning goals this year.
Freeman has two goals and five assists of this season from her position at sweeper. Filpus-Luyckx has registered 17 saves in 320 minutes of work in goal this season, but her biggest impact has come elsewhere.
"Karen was projected to be our No. 1 goalkeeper this year, but we hit a point in the season when we realized we were better with her on the field. Not because she was a bad keeper, but she was so good in the midfield," Wimberly said.
The result is a successful season with the Lady Cavaliers sitting at second place in the region standings with seven games remaining. Instead of talking about a rebuilding effort and seven underclassmen starters getting their feet wet, the team has its sights set on bigger goals.
"We all want to at least make it to the final four," Freeman said. "We're a lot more confident this year, and we know we can do it."
The last time the Augusta Prep girls soccer team made the state semifinals, the three seniors were freshmen.
"We're not there yet. We've still got a ways to go," Wimberly said, "but we will be by May 1st."
The Lady Cavaliers will face John Milledge Academy on the road in a region game Thursday.
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