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MCC women return veteran players, eye region title

By By Tony Krausz assistant sports editor
August 23, 2003
In only its second year of existence, the Meridian Community College women's soccer team is shooting for some high goals in 2003.
After recording a 9-6-1 record in their inaugural season, the Lady Eagles are not shying away from talking about making an appearance in the Region 23 tournament.
"The girls are getting in really good shape," said head coach Alex George. "They are out to put a label on their team's history by shooting for the Region 23 in just two years of existence. I'm excited for them. I tell them everyday it is the best job I could ever have coaching this team."
MCC returns 10 sophomores from last year's squad, and 13 freshmen join the team for the 2003 campaign. The combination of veteran players and talented rookies has reshaped the look of the young program.
"This year is going to be a complete about face as far as total talent and depth," George said. "I have depth at every position. I went out looking for speed this year, and I found it. It is not hard to find it, there are great women athletes in this state. We have a lot of size and good
Returning strikers Cheri R. Wilson and Katie Bergin will lead a potent Lady Eagles offense.
Wilson tallied 14 goals for MCC last season, and Bergin notched 21 assists to go along with six goals.
"(Wilson) is tall, fast and real powerful. She has improved dramatically. I watched her last night, and I'm amazed at what she can do with the ball," George said. "(Bergin) is a good link player. She is a very motivated and determined young lady. She is going to lead the push up top on the offensive end."
George has a strong field leader in his backfield.
Sweeper Lindsey Key, a former Meridian High School standout, has taken charge of the defensive corps in her second year with the program.
"(Key) is a great defensive player," George said. "She is not bossy, and she works well with the girls. They respect her, and I respect her. I just let her do her job. She is well trained, and there is very little I have to tweak during practice."
Strong leadership at the front and back ends of the field is just one of the reasons why the Lady Eagles are setting their sights high in 2003.
George said having one year under the program's belt has gotten everyone on the same page.
"It helped taking the freshmen I had last year and have a year to train them the way we wanted them to play," George said. "I had a whole offseason for the weight program to get them stronger. They have become leaders, and they lead the freshmen. It doesn't take as long for the freshmen to understand what we are looking for and trying to accomplish as a team."
"You take 23 girls and get them all motivated in the right direction, I think you can have something special by the end of the year."
MCC starts its season against Bossier Parrish at 7 p.m. today on the road.